Many of you will have seen me advertising a survey throughout this campaign – and you may have even taken it! The survey asked three main questions:
What do you like most about where you live?
What would make a big difference to you/your family or where you live?
If you could change or improve one thing in your neighbourhood/suburb, what would it be?
While the survey is no substitute for a face to face conversation at the shops or at your home, it’s been really helpful in circumstances where I’ve missed you or where you might be time poor.
While I’ll be keeping the survey open until the election for that reason, given tomorrow is the first day of voting for the 2016 ACT election (pre-poll voting opens at the Belconnen Community Centre (corner Swanson and Chandler in the Town Centre) at 9am tomorrow) I thought it might be interesting to share some of the results!
277 people have taken the survey since it opened on 25 February, 2016. People have continued to take it right up until this evening!
The survey was advertised through:
The majority of people took the survey in March – the time when my flyer was distributed across the whole electorate – followed by July and August. Someone from every Belconnen suburb has taken the survey except for Mckellar (in Belconnen but not in the Ginninderra electorate), Lawson and Charnwood. The most popular suburbs where the survey was taken were Aranda (12.64%), Belconnen Town Centre (13.72%) and Cook (15.52%), followed by Fraser (5.78%) and Florey (5.42%). (The letter to Aranda and Cook residents likely accounts for the increase in those suburbs.) Eleven people outside Belconnen took the survey.
For this question What do you like most about where you live?, respondents were able to select up to 4 options and they also had a free text field as an option. The top responses are proximity to local shops, amount of nature/bushland, proximity to services or public transport, green spaces (nature reserves, parks, ovals)and access to walking and cycle paths.
Interestingly, affordable to rent/buy was one of the least selected responses. Like with the other responses, without further information it’s difficult to know if the opposite is true (ie areas are not affordable to rent/buy) or if other options simply precede it as being what people like the most.
Of the ‘Other’ responses, some common themes include:
For the question Which of these would make a big difference to you/your family or where you live? the most common responses were regarding waste with green waste bin at residence, green waste collection and kerbside hard rubbish/bulky waste pick up overwhelmingly are the top options.
In particular, this feedback about a kerbside bulky waste pick up service has been invaluable – throughout the campaign I was able to provide this information to our party and advocate for this as a service for us to introduce, and in July we announced it as an ACT Labor election commitment. Green bins for all of Canberra were also announced as a Government policy earlier this year, with a pilot in Kambah/Weston Creek and Tuggeranong. I’m continuing to advocate for Belconnen to be the next stage of the roll-out.
*EDIT* TODAY, ACT Labor announced that Belconnen will be the next stage of the roll-out, with those who opt-in to receive a bin getting one by mid-2018! This is fantastic news for the Belconnen community and, thanks to you telling us loud and clear, we’ve listened!
‘Other’ responses made up the next highest amount, followed by increased mowing/maintenance of green spaces, increased walking and cycle paths and upgrade to/more local shops. Again, it was interesting to see that local shops featured heavily in what people like about where they live as well as in what people want to see more of (or investment in). I was also surprised to see more green spaces feature so low in this question and so high in the earlier question – it might suggest that we value our existing green spaces and have the mix between green space and infrastructure just right; this might also point to the need to maintain and preserve these existing spaces – something I’m passionate about.
Of the ‘Other’ responses, some which stood out were:
For the final main question, If you could change or improve one thing about your neighbourhood/suburb, what would it be?, 234 of the 277 responses chose to fill in the free text field. Common themes included:
So, there you have it! What do you think? Do the results surprise you or affirm views that you have? Have you taken the survey? The survey is now closed but you can tell me what you think by getting in touch with me here.