Coffs Council survey finds “room for significant improvement” overall

PLACESCORE is a ‘place experience’ measurement tool that lets communities across Australia share what they most care about. It was used in the Coffs Harbour LGA between November 2018 and February 2019 by the Coffs Harbour City Council.

It gives communities a voice to shape the places they live, recreate and work. It is a survey tool that can be repeated in subsequent years at various intervals to establish a ‘place census’ to measure progress and change.

PLACESCORE consists of two tools – ‘Care Factor Surveys’ capturing what the community values; and ‘PX Assessments’ which capture place performance by allowing the community to rate their own neighbourhoods.

The Jetty area rated as 69/100

The resultant PX place score (between 0 and 100) measures the community’s experience of their place. A high Care Factor and low PX score can be considered priorities, while those localities with both a high Care Factor and high PX can be celebrated.

The Coffs Harbour LGA 2019 PLACESCORE project involved community engagement via online and face to face surveys of the community between November 2018 and February 2019. A total of 2,075 responses were collected during the research. Results have been compiled into the PLACESCORE Neighbourhood Community Insights Report – March 2019. See: https://infocouncil.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Open/2019/04/CO_20190411_AGN_2194_AT_WEB.htm


·    Key Findings

The report linked above provides an executive summary of key findings for the whole of the LGA, and then interrogates various localities further (when sufficient responses were received for these localities). PX scores vary between 0 and 100. Scores above 70 are considered very good; scores between 50 and 70 are considered as having room for significant improvement; and scores less than 50 suggest that urgent investment is required.

The overall Coffs Harbour LGA achieved a PX of 65, indicating Coffs Harbour LGA is performing poorer than the NSW average of 72.

Key strengths listed for the overall LGA are elements of the natural environment (natural features, views, vegetation etc); and locally owned and operated businesses. Liveability improvement priorities (those things identified that are important to the community but which are currently underperforming) are listed as quality of public space; access and safety of walking, cycling and/or public transport; walking/jogging/bike paths that connect housing to communal amenities (like shops and parks); the general condition of public open space (street trees, footpaths, parks); and protection of the natural environment.

Further analysis was also undertaken on localities (when sufficient responses were received to allow for this analysis). Sawtell (77) and Moonee Beach (72) achieved the top PX scores; and Toormina the bottom score (58). Scores for other neighbourhoods included Arrawarra and Mullaway (65); Boambee East (64); Coffs Harbour City (64); Coramba (68); Corindi Beach (67), Nana Glen (61); Sandy Beach (66); and Woolgoolga (67).

Four localities within the Coffs Harbour City area were further broken down for analysis, being City Centre (62); Jetty (69); Park Beach (64); and West Coffs (64).

The report is to be considered by Councillors at tomorrow’s (11-4-2019) Council meeting. The following aspects are highlighted;


The 2019 PLACESCORE results have identified that the community most highly values elements of the natural environment, the general condition of public open space and protection of the natural environment, landscaping and natural elements and quality of public space (Attachment 1, page 13 – see above link).

•     Social

  • see above linkThe 2019 PLACESCORE results have identified that the community most highly values the sense of personal and neighbourhood safety, locally owned and operated businesses, walking/jogging/bike paths that connect housing to amenities such as shops and parks, and access and safety of walking, cycling and/or public transport (Attachment 1, page 13 – see above link).

•     Civic Leadership

Council is responsible for various matters which are outlined in the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan 2017. The 2019 PLACESCORE results support the objectives of thriving, connected and sustainable contained within the MyCoffs document.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Council is committed to creating great places where the community wants to ‘live, play and work’.The 2019 PLACESCORE report provides valuable information for use across Council in diagnosing problems, identifying priorities and measuring change in key places and precincts across the LGA. This will assist in the orderly and efficient development of the city and promote investment and economic activity.

•     Economic – Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The project has been commissioned to inform the vision of the draft Coffs Future Transport Study. As such, costs are included in Council’s Delivery Program and Operational Plan. Analysis of its findings will assist in orderly and efficient use and allocation of Council’s resources.

The above is from the minutes of the 11-4-2019 Council meeting. Emphasis added by Outlook

See: https://infocouncil.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Open/2019/04/CO_20190411_AGN_2194_AT_WEB.htm

One Comment

  1. Maybe we should be asking tourists the same questions. For years sporting events have masked the decline in our core holiday tourist quality and quantum. The general bulk of tourists are spending less and we are becoming a lower socio-economic destination. The exposure will occur when the sporting events are enticed elsewhere or the venue, as in the World Rally, have “done it all and exhausted” the usefulness of the locality.
    Having operated tourism businesses across accomodation, activities and brokerage in Coffs for 16 years I have never been asked to quantify either the number or $ spend by our customers. So I can tell you I have difficulty in reconciling the “marketing” figures put out by the likes of Destination NSW.

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