The Geelong Citizens’ Jury
The Victorian Government committed to consult the Geelong community about its local governance arrangements following the dismissal of the Greater Geelong City Council in April 2016.
Announced by the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Natalie Hutchins MP on 12 July 2016, the Geelong Citizens' Jury is overseen by the independent not-for-profit organisation the newDemocracy Foundation (nDF). The jury will recommend how Greater Geelong will be democratically represented by a future council.
The nDF randomly selected the 100-member jury from 15,000 Geelong residents, who were invited to register their interest to be a jury member. Key stakeholders and interest groups as well as all members of the Geelong community had the opportunity to have their say in person and online, and have those views considered by the jury. This ensured the jury was fully informed about all views and perspectives when it deliberated.
Geelong Citizens’ Jury timeline
On 3 August, briefings were held in Geelong for key stakeholders and interest groups to hear about the process, put forward their views and nominate to present to the jury.
On 11 August, invitations were issued to 15,000 randomly-selected residents to register their interest to be selected for the jury.
Broad community engagement was conducted around some democratic representation options for Geelong in background papers. The community provided their views through a series of interactive local events and online consultation.
October 2016 - January 2017
The randomly-selected 100-member citizens' jury met and deliberated over four Saturdays in late October and November 2016 and January 2017.
Jury members considered background papers, stakeholder submissions and survey responses, and the community's feedback. They also heard from expert witnesses of their choosing and nominated key stakeholders from the briefing session in August.
The jury provided its interim report to the Minister for Local Government in November and its final report in January 2017.
Read the jury’s Final Report and recommendations
Government response to jury’s recommendations.
The jury made two types of recommendations:
- Practical recommendations that reflects a council structure compliant with the Victorian local government legislative framework
- Aspirational recommendations about how local democracy can be improved in Greater Geelong that might not be compliant with the Victorian local government legislative framework.
The practical recommendations reflect an electoral structure for the Greater Geelong City Council, which had a clear scope:
- how the Mayor is elected
- whether Geelong needs a Deputy Mayor - and if so, how the Deputy should be elected
- how many councillors there should be
- what the best representative structure looks like - whether the municipality should be unsubdivided, or divided into wards
- if wards are preferred, whether they should be single or multi-member
Media release: Citizens’ Jury To Decide On Future Council For Geelong
Visit the newDemocracy Foundation website
newDemocracy - Process Design for Local Government Victoria (PDF, 244.5 KB)
Note: Page 8 has been amended in response to feedback from the Greater Geelong community during the announcement event on 12 July 2016 and stakeholder briefing sessions.
Want to find out about submissions, workshops and how the community was engaged?
Visit the Geelong Citizens’ Jury website