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Citizens' Jury: is Council spending your money on the right things?

Project: The Citizens’ Jury is an independently facilitated innovative engagement method that Council will use to review its range and level of services to inform development of the Delivery Program 2017-21 and meet Fit for the Future commitments.

Start: June 2016

Expected completion: March 2017

Cost: $100,000


Council has engaged not-for-profit research organisation newDemocracy Foundation (nDF) to facilitate a Citizens’ Jury process with the Eurobodalla Community.

The Jury will be made up of approximately 24 randomly selected everyday people from our community. They will be taken through a comprehensive exploration of the work done by Council to consider the question ‘Is Council spending your money on the right things? If not, what should we change?’

The Jury will meet six times from September to November 2016 and will have access to council information and community stakeholder submissions as well as experts of their choosing. They will be given time to reach a consensus view about Council priorities and the range and level of services Council provides in a genuine, thoughtful land meaningful way.

nDF will conduct the jury selection and administration. Councillors and Council staff will meet Jury members for the first time at the first meeting in September.

The outcomes from this process will be used to inform the development of Council’s Delivery Program 2017-21. This innovative engagement method will assist Council to achieve a higher level of community endorsement, ownership of and support for the Delivery Program it develops.

Make a submission to the Jury

An important part of this Citizens’ Jury process is the opportunity for individuals, community organisations and other locally based organisations or interested bodies to make submissions to the Jury.

This a chance for you to make your case to a Jury of around 24 everyday people who have a commitment from Council to get a direct response. The information you provide will help to provide a key source of baseline information for the randomly selected Jury members to consider.

Submission close on 7 October 2016. For details on how and where to make a submission, please see the frequently asked questions below.

Get involved in the discussion

A great way for community members to participate in this process is to use Council’s online engagement hub The community hub is open to all community members and is a great way to get involved in the discussion, access the same documents and community submissions as the Jury, and stay up to date with the process. To participate in the online forum you will need to register by clicking Register to have you say on the engagement hub homepage.

Citizen Jury meeting schedule

The Citizen's Jury will meet:

  • Saturday 17 September 2016, 9am to 5pm
    Kyla Park Hall, Hextor McWilliam Drive, Tuross Head
  • Wednesday 12 October 2016, 5.30pm to 9pm
    Broulee Surf Life Saving Club, Heath Street, Broulee
  • Wednesday 26 October 2016, 5.30pm to 9.30pm
    Moruya Surf Club, Charles Moffit Drive, Moruya
  • Wednesday 9 November 2016, 5.30pm to 9pm
    Bodalla Memorial Hall, Princes Highway, Bodalla
  • Saturday 19 November 2016, 9am to 5pm
    Kyla Park Hall, Hector McWilliam Drive, Tuross Head
  • Wednesday 23 November 2016, 5.30pm to 9pm
    Tomakin Community Hall, Ainslie Parade (corner of George Bass Drive), Tomakin
  • Wednesday 30 November 2016, 5.30pm to 9pm
    Council Chambers, Corner Vulcan and Campbell Street, Moruya 

Briefing book

The briefing book is the base information provided to every member of the Jury. It has been prepared by Council staff and provides detailed information on Council income, expenditure, service delivery and infrastructure. All content has been sourced from existing Council publications or records.

Final report

The Citizens’ Jury finalised their report at their 7th meeting on 30 November 2016. Members of the Jury then briefed Councillors on their experience, the process and the final report at a Councillor briefing on 6 December 2016. The final report was formally received by Council at its meeting on 13 December 2016.

Council Response

Council’s response to the Eurobodalla Citizens’ Jury Report and the 86 recommendations was presented at the Council Meeting on Tuesday 11 April 2017.

Frequently asked questions

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What is a citizens' jury and why do we need one?

A citizens’ jury is a group of randomly selected people who come together to be briefed on an issue and to make recommendations. A citizens’ jury aims to involve the wider community in the process of government decision making. They are usually convened to consider one issue over a brief period of time and are then disbanded.

Why call it a ‘jury’?

The term ‘jury’ was developed from the idea that Western society puts their faith in a jury of 12 to decide the outcome in a legal case, based on the evidence presented. The jurors in a court room come from many different backgrounds, are randomly selected and receive monetary compensation. The Eurobodalla Citizens’ Jury members will not act as legal representatives, they will be asked to question Council spending by deliberating on the information provided and seek expert and stakeholder opinions.

How will the sessions operate?

The jury sessions are being conducted by an independent facilitator alongside representatives of newDemocracy. All sessions will be open to the public.

Why do we need a Citizens’ Jury? Don’t we pay the Councillor’s to do this as part of their role?

Like many local governments, Eurobodalla faces the challenge of having substantial infrastructure to manage, maintain and renew, as well as delivering a wide range of services. With Council elections in September and the development of Council’s four year Delivery Program to meet Fit for Future commitments, it is a critical time to ensure the community has a say in the future direction of Council.

Council want to hear from a group who represent the residents of Eurobodalla (including location, gender, age and income) to ensure it continues to provide the right services into the future. The decision of the Jury will be presented as a set of recommendations to Council that will feed into the next Delivery Program.

The difference between a councillor and a juror is a councillor is an elected, paid official, and the juror is part of a larger consultation process to discuss one particular issue or question, and afterwards will no longer be involved (as a juror) in Council decision making processes.

Does Council have to act on the Jury’s recommendations?

It is the intention of Council to implement as many of the Jury’s recommendations as possible. However, with Council elections in September the final decision rests with the incoming Mayor and elected Councillors.

What is the cost of the project and who is paying for it?

The project cost is $100,000. Council is paying for the project as part of Council’s legislative requirements to consult with the community.

For a detailed breakdown of project costing, visit new Democracy’s Website where you can view the Eurobodalla Shire Council Citizens’ Jury - Process Design document.

How are members of the Jury selected?

The Citizens’ Jury consultation process is completely independent of Council. The process is entirely managed by newDemocracy Foundation to ensure a fair methodology and unbiased result. newDemocracy Foundation recommends approximately 24 jury members. This number is based on previous experience and is enough that the majority of views within a community tend to be represented. This number is also manageable to work through the volume of information and to reach consensus recommendations.

newDemocracy Foundation posts invitations to 5,000 Eurobodalla residents. The addresses for the 5,000 invitations are randomly drawn from land titles information. This ensures tenants and those not on electoral rolls are reached. Recipients of the invitation are asked to register online (or by phone) to indicate they are interested and available for the final selection. Based on those available, a second random draw is carried out, this draw generates the final members of the Jury. Please note, the final Jury selected may be more or less than 24 given the need to match the Jury profile to the demographic profile of Eurobodalla.

Why did you send out 5,000 invitations?

Typically, newDemocracy Foundation send 3,000 invitations in an area similar in size to Eurobodalla. Judging from past projects, a mail out of 3,000 invitations has demonstrated the most appropriate rate of responses. However, because Eurobodalla has a high level of non-resident rate payers, an additional 2,000 invitations were sent.

Why is it random? Why can’t I choose to be on the Jury?

The integrity of the Citizens’ Jury is based on its random nature of everyday people who are a descriptively representative sample of the community. This ensures the recommendations of the Jury are free from bias, both from Council and community group members.

Are the Jury member’s details public information? How can I contact them?

newDemocracy Foundation will not provide any juror contact information to Council or the public.

Will Jury members be paid?

Upon completion of the process jurors will receive a one-off payment of $400 for any associated costs incurred from being a part of this process. Meals and refreshments will also be provided at the meetings.

How do I get on the jury?

If you did not receive an invitation, unfortunately you cannot participate as a juror. However, you can still be involved in the process by making a submission to the Jury.

How do I make a submission to the Jury?

Eurobodalla community members are being encouraged to make submissions to the Citizens’ Jury. Submissions are open now and can be made any time before 7 October 2016. This will allow the Jury time to consider all submissions before they finalise their recommendations to Council.

Submissions should ideally be made in writing, and can be lodged:

What will happen with the information I provide?

The newDemocracy Foundation will coordinate the provision of all submissions to the Jury. They will provide the submissions chronologically (as they are lodged) to remove any potential or perceived bias in prioritising one submission over another. As part of the transparency process, submissions will also be published online through Council’s website.

Prior to publication, new Democracy will remove contact details for individuals from submissions but not from organisations, unless specifically requested.

Once submissions are provided to the Jury, it will be at their discretion to consider the content. They may request further information or request a submitter attend one of the Jury meetings to speak to the points which have been raised. If either is requested, you will be contacted by newDemocracy.

Who is newDemocracy Foundation?

newDemocracy Foundation is a not-for-profit research institute registered as a charity, with a particular focus on best practice citizen engagement and innovations in democracy. The newDemocracy Foundation Committee is led by former premiers of NSW and Western Australia. This allows the organisation to understand the challenges of politics and focus on fair democratic processes, while also demonstrating they are unbiased to the outcome.

Find out more about newDemocracy Foundation.

How is the newDemocracy Foundation linked to Transfield Services?

In short, there is no link at all. Luca Belgiorno, the founder of the newDemocracy Foundation, was previously a managing director of Transfield Services. Transfield Services was sold in 2001 after a split in the founding family which has been well documented (there’s an ABC Australian Story on it for example). The name was used under license because of the heritage of the family business, so assumptions which link the two are false. Luca Belgiorno is now the managing director of Transfield Holdings which is a private family company and is unrelated to Transfield Services.

Read more.

How do I contact newDemocracy Foundation?

Please contact newDemocracy Foundation for any questions you have about the Citizens’ Jury by:

newDemocracy Foundation is convening the Jury on behalf of Council and is best placed to answer your questions about the process and how the community can be involved. Council’s role is to facilitate and support the Jury through the provision of information and documentation, and to provide meeting venues, catering and other logistical support.

What is the Staff Jury?

The Staff Jury will operate alongside the Citizen’s Jury and will follow the same principles and guidelines, and have the same independent facilitator. The main difference is that the staff jurors will only attend 3 meetings. This is because staff have an assumed base level of knowledge regarding the service delivery and operations of Council. The Staff Jury will have access to the same experts and stakeholder submissions as the Citizens’ Jury, and will form a set of recommendations based on their own experiences. The Staff Jury recommendations will be provided to the Citizens’ Jury for consideration.

Why are you running a Staff Jury?

The perspective of Council staff is unique as they not only contribute to the delivery of a service, but are also members of our community. The Staff Jury recommendations will give the Citizens’ Jury and the community an insight and opportunity to hear from the ‘everyday’ workers of Council.

We hope by running the same process internally, a relationship of trust and open communication between staff and the community can be supported. We also anticipate the transparency and independence of the process can be used as a professional development tool, to encourage collaboration across departments and enable staff to learn facilitation and engagement skills. Ultimately, Council aims to facilitate the opportunity to share perspectives, develop mutual appreciation and enhance and strengthen both sets of recommendations.

Contact us

For more information, contact our Community Planning Coordinator, Lane Tucker.


  • Preparation: June to July 2016
  • Invitations sent: July 2016
  • Community stakeholder briefings: August 2016
  • Citizens' Jury meetings: September to November 2016
  • Eurobodalla Citizens' Jury final report: December 2016
  • Council response: March 2017

Latest news

April 2017

Council’s final response to the Eurobodalla Citizens’ Jury Report and the 86 recommendations was presented at the Council Meeting on Tuesday 11 April 2017.

December 2016

  • Members of the Jury briefed Councillors on their experience, the process and the final report at a Councillor briefing on 6 December 2016. The final report, which is available here, was formally received by Council at its meeting on 13 December 2016.

November 2016

  • Citizens’ Jury to hold additional meeting: To fully address the range of issues which have been considered to date, as a group the Jury decided to meet for an additional meeting on Wednesday, 30 November. This additional meeting will focus on finalising recommendations around a small number of key areas of concern which had previously been identified.
    As with all Jury meetings, this additional jury meeting is open to the public and observers are welcome to attend. Observers are asked to come to the commencement of the meeting and stay until there is a break so as not to disrupt proceedings.
    The Jury ultimately has control, and newDemocracy and the Facilitators will respond to their requests regarding observers. For example the Jury may decide to close a previously open session, and if they do so observers will be asked to leave.

    The Jury’s report is expected to be finalised at this meeting and will be formally reported to Council on 13 December 2016.

September 2016

  • The Jury will meet for the first time this month. The first meeting is 17 September and there will be a public gallery for observers.
  • Get involved in the community discussion, access the same documents and submissions as the Jury, and stay up to date with the process by visiting Council’s online engagement
  • The first Jury meeting held at Tuross Head on Saturday 17 September has been declared a success.
  • The closing date for making a submission to the Jury has been extended from Monday 3 October to Friday 7 October.

August 2016

  • Community stakeholder sessions will be held in the first week of August. At these sessions you will be able to find out about the process, how you can make a submission to the Jury with your ideas and be involved in the selection of experts to inform the Jury.
  • Submissions are now open for the Eurobodalla Citizens’ Jury and close on 3 October.
  • The Citizens’ Jury briefing book has been published and is available online (see above).

July 2016

  • The newDemocracy foundation is sending out 5,000 invitations to Eurobodalla residents with details of how you can nominate to be a part of our Citizens’ Jury. If you don't receive an invitation don't worry, you still have the opportunity to be involved by attending a community stakeholder information session in the first week of August.

More information

For more information about the Eurobodalla Citizens Jury, please contact Community Planning Coordinator, Lane Tucker: