Councils are required to prepare a Community Engagement Strategy to inform the planning of all council activities. The Community Engagement Strategy should plan how the council will engage at key stages during the preparation of the CSP and related Delivery Program, Operational Plan and Resourcing Strategy as well as all other council activities. It should identify the who, when, how and where as well as considering what information will be required to support the engagement process.
The community engagement undertaken as part of the strategic planning process must be much more than a single community meeting or satisfaction survey. It should be targeted and appropriate to the specific planning being undertaken. It is an ongoing conversation between the council and its communities.
The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) has established an online database of community engagement resources, which includes a report on Community Engagement in Rural-Remote and Indigenous Local Government in Australia that discusses engagement practice within communities and offers a toolkit to assist practice in this area.