Marrickville Infrastructure Jury

UPDATE:

The Marrickville Infrastructure Jury's (MIJ) final workshop was on Saturday 7 February. The MIJ considered the pros and cons of a proposed special rate variation (SRV) to fund infrastructure renewal and on balance was willing to support it. The elected Council at its meeting on Tuesday 17 February 2015 resolved to apply to IPART for an SRV. Read more about the SRV here.

The elected Council at its meeting on 17 March 2015 will consider a paper discussing the remainder of the Jury's recommendations and Council's responses. The Council paper will be posted on this site.

**************************************************************************************************************************************

What level of infrastructure quality do we want to pay for in Marrickville? What are our local priorities for investment?

Background

Some tricky questions. Many potential solutions. Plenty of ideas about how it should be approached. Thirty local citizens charged with coming up with solutions. Welcome to the Marrickville Infrastructure Jury!

In October 2014 Council convened a randomly selected Citizens Jury to participate in an innovative public decision-making process to help to answer these questions. The Jury of 30 people are representative of Marrickville's diverse community.

The Jury met over a three month period to deliberate on information and work towards consensus. Its final report is published here in full and unedited. The Jury’s recommendations are shaping Council's decision on addressing infrastructure asset renewal, prioritisation of unfunded capital works and funding strategies.

Video update 1


Video update 2



Video update 3



Community groups and individuals made submissions for the Jury to consider during their deliberations.

The Jury met to finalise its report on Saturday 8 November 2014. Council received the Jury's report at its meeting on 25 November.


What was the result?

The Jury made a series of recommendations including:

  • The minimum acceptable condition for a range of infrastructure. This reduced the the shortfall for asset renewal from $5.065m to $2.354m, a saving of approximately $2.7m per annum.
  • Endorsement of the unfunded works as a priority for the Marrickville community.
  • That Council find efficiences and raise money through parking schemes.

Council is reconvening the Jury in early 2015 to report on how we are responding to each of the recommendations. In the meantime Council is also seeking community opinion on applying for a small special rate variation to fund the still-remaining shortfall for asset renewal. Read more about the proprosed rate increase. Council can only apply in February to IPART for a rate increase which is why we are seeking community feedback now.

More information on the responses to Jury recommendations will be posted here in 2015 following the next Jury meeting.


FAQs

What is a Citizens Jury?

Citizens Juries are a new idea that bring democracy closer to the community. The premise is that a decision made by a jury of ordinary members of the community can make a sustainable decision trusted by the rest of the community – and that isn’t political or influenced by vested interests. There are three key elements in a Citizens Jury – random selection, the provision of time and access to information and independently facilitated forums for dialogue.

The newDemocracy Foundation

Council is working with a non-for-profit research group, the newDemocracy Foundation that has a particular focus on best practice citizen engagement and innovations in democratic structures. newDemocracy is managing the recruitment process as well as designing the method to make sure that Council’s Marrickville Infrastructure Jury is the highest quality.

How were the members recruited?

Members were randomly selected. Three thousand invitations were sent out to Marrickville residents and business owners. Those who accepted went through to the next stage of the random process, resulting in a Jury of 30 citizens.

What’s the thinking behind a Citizens Jury?

In a trial by jury, public trust is placed in a jury’s verdict, without looking at each piece of evidence, because a trusted group of citizens was given sufficient time and access to information – and was free from outside influences (or even the perception of such influences). There is ample research evidence that supports that this same model can be applied to public decisions in general. More than 1100 case studies have shown that, by giving a representative panel time and information upon which to deliberate, stronger public engagement is achieved – as well as higher quality decisions

What level of infrastructure quality do we want to pay for in Marrickville? What are our local priorities for investment?

Background

Some tricky questions. Many potential solutions. Plenty of ideas about how it should be approached. Thirty local citizens charged with coming up with solutions. Welcome to the Marrickville Infrastructure Jury!

In October 2014 Council convened a randomly selected Citizens Jury to participate in an innovative public decision-making process to help to answer these questions. The Jury of 30 people are representative of Marrickville's diverse community.

The Jury met over a three month period to deliberate on information and work towards consensus. Its final report is published here in full and unedited. The Jury’s recommendations are shaping Council's decision on addressing infrastructure asset renewal, prioritisation of unfunded capital works and funding strategies.

Video update 1


Video update 2



Video update 3



Community groups and individuals made submissions for the Jury to consider during their deliberations.

The Jury met to finalise its report on Saturday 8 November 2014. Council received the Jury's report at its meeting on 25 November.


What was the result?

The Jury made a series of recommendations including:

  • The minimum acceptable condition for a range of infrastructure. This reduced the the shortfall for asset renewal from $5.065m to $2.354m, a saving of approximately $2.7m per annum.
  • Endorsement of the unfunded works as a priority for the Marrickville community.
  • That Council find efficiences and raise money through parking schemes.

Council is reconvening the Jury in early 2015 to report on how we are responding to each of the recommendations. In the meantime Council is also seeking community opinion on applying for a small special rate variation to fund the still-remaining shortfall for asset renewal. Read more about the proprosed rate increase. Council can only apply in February to IPART for a rate increase which is why we are seeking community feedback now.

More information on the responses to Jury recommendations will be posted here in 2015 following the next Jury meeting.


FAQs

What is a Citizens Jury?

Citizens Juries are a new idea that bring democracy closer to the community. The premise is that a decision made by a jury of ordinary members of the community can make a sustainable decision trusted by the rest of the community – and that isn’t political or influenced by vested interests. There are three key elements in a Citizens Jury – random selection, the provision of time and access to information and independently facilitated forums for dialogue.

The newDemocracy Foundation

Council is working with a non-for-profit research group, the newDemocracy Foundation that has a particular focus on best practice citizen engagement and innovations in democratic structures. newDemocracy is managing the recruitment process as well as designing the method to make sure that Council’s Marrickville Infrastructure Jury is the highest quality.

How were the members recruited?

Members were randomly selected. Three thousand invitations were sent out to Marrickville residents and business owners. Those who accepted went through to the next stage of the random process, resulting in a Jury of 30 citizens.

What’s the thinking behind a Citizens Jury?

In a trial by jury, public trust is placed in a jury’s verdict, without looking at each piece of evidence, because a trusted group of citizens was given sufficient time and access to information – and was free from outside influences (or even the perception of such influences). There is ample research evidence that supports that this same model can be applied to public decisions in general. More than 1100 case studies have shown that, by giving a representative panel time and information upon which to deliberate, stronger public engagement is achieved – as well as higher quality decisions