In April 2016 the State Government acted on the recommendation of an independent Commission of Inquiry and dismissed the Greater Geelong City Council, and committed to consult the community about its local governance model before the next council election.
This inadvertently created one of the single great opportunities to explore how citizens would design a local system of representation if given the chance.
Central to this project is the pre-agreed authority that the Minister for Local Government is keen to hear two recommendations. One recommendation from the randomly selected group among the community needs to comply with the existing local government legislative framework - a practical solution that enables the government to act on before the next council election scheduled for October 2017.
The second recommendation is free to draw on all the new ideas in representation and public decision-making emerging around the world. The Minister cannot grant authority to act on this - it would be a matter for Cabinet and ultimately the State Parliament - but has indicated that she will meet the community halfway by taking this aspirational recommendation to the parliament for their consideration, and subsequently provide a response.
At the core of this project is an idea central to the Foundation's research mission: can we do democracy better? This project is one of the first to ever attempt to collate democratic innovations in order to identify which of these resonate with a local community given the chance to explore them in depth and apply them to their lives.
The project will operate from July to December 2016.
Victorian Government Response to Citizens' Jury Report - March 2017
Geelong Citizens Jury - Final Debrief Report - March 2017
Geelong Citizens Jury - Final Report January 2017
Process Design Outline
Jury Requested Submissions
In The Media
Geelong to drop directly-elected mayors in wake of council dysfunction, ABC News, 18 March 2017
Geelong Advertiser - 20 March 2017 - Editorial: Council unease lingers
ABC Melbourne - 18 March 2017 - Radio Clip
Geelong Advertiser - 23 January 2017 - Editorial: Jury down on Rookie Mayors
Geelong Advertiser - 23 January 2017 - Shane Fowles: Jury Open to Mayoral Poll
GeelongIndy, 15 December 2016 - Wards make way for bigger picture.
GeelongIndy, 15 December 2016 - Jury's still out on jury.
GeelongIndy, 11 August 2016 - Concern over jury representation.
Geelong Advertiser, 12 July 2016 - Jury Must Find Civic Cohesion (Editorial)
Geelong Advertiser, 12 July 2016 - Citizens Jury Will Shape Our Council