Performance Surveys

Executive Summary

In April 2019, Nambucca Shire Council commissioned Jetty Research to conduct a representative and statistically valid telephone survey of 400+ adult residents living within the local government area (LGA). The survey aimed to assess satisfaction with, and priorities towards different Council-managed facilities and services using a random and statistically valid sample.
This survey follows similar polls conducted triennially since 2007. Hence it was also designed to see how results have varied from previous research waves, where appropriate.
The 2019 survey was also designed to provide community feedback on a range of other issues including: frontline service levels; awareness of and interest in online rates; rebranding of the Council and of Valla locality, and; perceptions towards population growth.
Polling was conducted from July 22nd to 30th as a random telephone survey of 402 adult residents living throughout the LGA. No formal quotas were applied, although we did attempt to ensure an adequate mix of respondents across age groups and sub-regions.
Based on the number of households within the Nambucca Shire, a random sample of 402adult residents implies a margin for error of +/- 4.8% at the 95% confidence level. This essentially means that if we conducted a similar poll twenty times, results should reflect the views and behaviour of the overall survey population – in this case “all Nambucca Shire adult residents excluding council employees and councillors” - to within a +/- 4.8% margin in 19 of those 20 surveys.
For more information on survey methodology, sampling error and sample characteristics, see pages 9-10. For more detailed information on the demographic breakdown of survey respondents, see pages 11-12.
Among the survey’s major conclusions:
    1. Of 26 council services and facilities measured, 21 had a mean satisfaction score of three or above (using a 1-5 satisfaction scale). Top-ranked services included libraries, which scored 4.11 out of a possible 5, and water supply (at 4.07). Sewage collection and treatment, Council pool, sporting facilities and parks, reserves and playgrounds also scored exceptionally well.
    2. Conversely, six services had a mean score of below “par”. Unsealed roads were the worst-ranked of the services measured (scoring a mean of 2.64) followed closely by economic development and new investment (2.73), youth facilities and activities (2.80), tourism marketing (2.86) and development approvals (2.88)..
    3. In terms of importance, river water quality had the highest mean rating at 4.44 (again using a 1-5 scale). This was followed by waste and recycling (4.36), sealed roads (4.31), coastal and beach management (4.24), environmental monitoring and protection (4.20) and cleanliness of streets (4.16).
    4. When placed into a matrix of importance vs. satisfaction, the following picture emerged:
Higher Importance, Lower Satisfaction
Higher Importance, Higher Satisfaction
Economic development/new investment
Environmental monitoring and protection
Sealed roads
Services for teh elderley
Public toilets
Coastal and beach management
River water quality
Tourism marketing
Cleanliness of streets
Waste and recycling
Parks, reserves and playgrounds
Water Supply
Lower Importance, Lower Satisfaction
Lower Importance, Higher Satisfaction
Weed control
Development application processing
Stormwater drainage
Dog control
Youth facilities and activities
Unsealed roads
Online services
Sewage collection and treatment
Council pool
Sporting facilities
Community halls

    5. Council is currently meeting expectations (i.e. where performance outweighs importance) across seven out of 26 services (council pool, online services, libraries, sewage collection and treatment, community halls, sporting facilities and water supply).
    6. Relative to other Councils measured, NSC has performed better in relation to most infrastructure facilities rated with the exception of libraries. Furthermore, NSC was deemed significantly better than its peers in providing public toilets, community halls, clean streets, sewage and DAs. NSC was not as seen as effective as its peers in providing tourism marketing, youth facilities and services and waste and recycling.
    7. Overall satisfaction towards Council demonstrated an upward movement in the proportion satisfied with Council since 2013 (51% in 2019 vs. 46% in 2016 and 38% in 2013) at the expense of those feeling dissatisfied (14% in 2019 vs. 20% in 2016 and 23% in 2013). This is mirrored in the upward climb of the mean satisfaction score.
    8. Attracting new businesses and investment (23%) and roads (20%) were the top-mentioned priorities for Council resources.
    9. Some 54% of respondents had contact with Council’s administration during the previous 12 months and satisfaction with Council’s handling increased on 2016 (from a mean satisfaction with handling score of 3.19 to 3.50 in 2019).
   10. Almost half of those surveyed claimed to be aware that they could now access their rates online, a slight increase over time. A similar proportion indicated they would like to access their rates online.
   11. Around half of those surveyed (46%) were aware that rates information could now be accessed online. And a similar proportion of ratepayers with computers claimed they were interested in accessing this information online.
   12. Almost two-thirds would support a name change from Nambucca Shire Council to Nambucca Valley Council. Of the remainder, key concerns related to costs associated with the transition (65% of those opposed) and a preference for the original name over the proposed (32%).
   13. Over two-thirds of respondents felt that the industrial and residential precincts on the western side of the new Freeway at Valla should continue to be referred to as Valla. One fifth (21%), preferred a new name be sought with an indigenous name being preferred by this group followed by Valla Rural, Boggy Creek or something incorporating Nambucca (such as Nambucca Heights).
   14. Half of residents felt the increase of around 82 people per year was about right, 32% felt it was too little and 10% too much.

James Parker, QPR, B. Ec, Grad Cert Applied Science (Statistics), AMSRS
Managing Director
August 20th 2019

Downloads Available

Community Satisfaction Survey 2019
Community Satisfaction Survey 2016
Community Satisfaction Survey 2013
Community Satisfaction Survey 2010
Community Satisfaction Survey 2007