Hedland community survey reveals achievements, concerns

Alicia PereraNorth West Telegraph
Town of Port Hedland Mayor Camilo Blanco, right, with Town and JD Hardie Youth Zone staff (back) Ben McNeil and Jeremy Parker and (front) Kiah McVea, Jess O’Dea and Akil Rashidi. Youth services scored highly in the Town's recent community perceptions survey.
Camera IconTown of Port Hedland Mayor Camilo Blanco, right, with Town and JD Hardie Youth Zone staff (back) Ben McNeil and Jeremy Parker and (front) Kiah McVea, Jess O’Dea and Akil Rashidi. Youth services scored highly in the Town's recent community perceptions survey. Credit: Alicia Perera

Youth and library services, reliable waste management and major annual events are the best things about life in the Town of Port Hedland while public safety and the town’s appearance are concerns, according to the results of an inaugural community perception survey.

Launched by local government after the success of a 2017 public engagement campaign of the same name, the town-wide Live It Tell It Do It survey attracted responses from 1002 residents, with a summary of results released last month.

While full results were not able to be provided to the North West Telegraph by the time of print, according to the summary, 40 per cent of people rated their experience of Hedland as 3/5, 41 per cent gave a 3/5 score when asked if Hedland had improved in the last 12 months, and more than half gave the area a 4-5/5 on the measure of community pride.

A “majority” of respondents stated they intended to stay in Hedland for either three-five years or more than 10 years.

Highlights identified by residents included the local lifestyle, waste management services, annual arts and cultural events such as the North West Festival and library and youth services.

Community friendliness was also cited as a plus by 48 per cent of people.

However, a high proportion of respondents relayed concerns about antisocial behaviour, alcohol and drugs in South Hedland, while a lack of childcare facilities, litter and town beautification, public lighting and boat amenities also stood out as issues.

Participants also showed a preference for the Town to employ better consultation processes and a more active role in areas such as tourism and safety, and indicated there was a need to improve Hedland’s reputation.

Town Mayor Camilo Blanco said the survey results would provide a “baseline” measure of residents’ perceptions and goals for the Hedland community

“Broadly, people are very pleased with our provision of arts and culture activities, kerbside bin collection and the upgrades we have made at the South Hedland Landfill,” he said.

“People rated our youth and community services highly and recognised the positive difference that recent capital works projects have made to our town’s liveability.

“People are enthusiastic about the live-streaming of council meetings, and there’s genuine enthusiasm for more community consultation.

“However, the data shows there are some concerns regarding public safety and antisocial behaviour in our community.

“People also want our existing facilities to be better maintained and would like to see more beautification works around town.”

Cr Blanco said he was pleased with the level of engagement.

Sixty-one per cent of the respondents to the annual survey hailed from South Hedland and 35 per cent were from Port Hedland. , more than two-thirds were women and 10 per cent identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

About 78 per cent responded that they lived in Hedland for work purposes.

The 2017 Live It Tell It survey, launched by the Town to provide the basis of a 10 year strategic community plan, drew more than 5800 responses.

For a summary of survey results, go to porthedland.wa.gov.au.

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