Community-led planning and development good practices
Sydney Precinct System
The North Sydney Council guided by the principles of 'Open Government' through ongoing communication and consultation established the 'Community Precinct System in the 70s to encourage residents, workers, students and property owners to take an active role in providing input into the operations of Council.
Precinct Committees are organised by the residents and are advisory, providing inputs and recommendations to Council on local priorities. North Sydney is divided into twenty four (24) Precinct areas. Precinct Committees are open forums which anyone can attend and consult on a range of community issues.
Precinct Committees encourage resident involvement in Council decisions. It aims to
enhance community awareness and social interaction
generate consultative information, ideas and opinions
support Councils inter-governmental and related dealings
imbue planning programs and policies
facilitate resident-initiated expenditure on care of public land
provide an access point to Council in its conduct of public consultations and strategic planning
3.How does it work
Precinct committees, a gathering of community representatives from within a Precinct area (including residents, workers, students and property owners) meet formally to discuss local issues and raise them with Council. The Committees are recognised by North Sydney Council as representative bodies for the purpose of consultation with the community.
Precinct meetings are one avenue for informing Council of community opinion and maintaining the flow of two-way communication between community members and Council staff and Councillors.
Precincts comments are responded to and considered by Council in its statutory decision making role. Precinct Committees also encourage social interaction within their local community by coordinating events.
Council allocates an agreed sum to each Committee to cover the administrative costs of the Committees business.
Recommendations or motions or actions arising are submitted to Council for action. These recommendations must first be made into a resolution and accompanied by a statement of voting numbers, including abstentions.
Each Committee submits to Council meeting, minutes and/or a summary of actions arising. In turn, Council will reply in writing to all requests arising from formal Committee meetings.