Victorian Local Governance Association

Pre-consultation Methods

This page describes pre-consultation methods.

Two broad categories of consultation approaches are suggested

It should be noted that all these methods are not presented necessarily as "stand-alone" options, but should be considered as part of a consultation plan which reflects principles of good consultation.

Pre-consultation Methods

These methods are presented as a list. This list may be considered as consultation methods in certain cases, but more often should be seen as a means of informing potential participants and the community about forthcoming issues which are to be the subject of consultation.

Write a Letter
This is a personally addressed letter to all affected households. It outlines the issue and invites comment. It always indicates where the comment should be directed within council.

Letterbox Drop
This is a non-addressed leaflet or flyer that summarises the issues and invites feedback to council. The flyer indicates how that feedback can be given.

Council Newsletter
This is the council's regular publication. It can carry articles about a major project, vision, policy or issue. If it is used for consultation, the article must inform and encourage feedback. The newsletter is an important vehicle to report on the results of other consultations.

Special Publications
These can range from a special news sheet to a brochure or draft printed policy. They are designed to inform the consultation process.

Advertisements in the Local Newspapers
Advertisements in the news section of the local papers (except for statutory requirements) are an important means of advising the community about the matter under consultation and how residents might have their say.

This involves issuing media releases and conducting interviews with local journalists. If it is part of the consultative process, the council spokesperson must ensure that people are told how they can comment on the issue in question and that feedback would be welcomed.