Melville Residents Feeling Happier

THE vast majority of residents remain happy with the City of Melville as a place to live but pockets of dissatisfaction do exist around the representation of local councillors, lack of consultation on issues affecting the community and the availability of local employment.

The satisfaction levels of residents south of Leach Highway were also lower than their northern neighbours.

South west Melville (Willagee, Winthrop, Kardinya and Murdoch) in particular scored notably lower in categories like standard of living, health, attractiveness of community environment, trustworthiness of community and safety.

Released last month, the results of the City’s Community Wellbeing Survey 2015 recorded impressive increases across the board compared to the 2013 study.

Particularly strong gains were observed in community satisfaction with financial security (up nine per cent), achieving in life (up six per cent) and standard of living (up five percent).

Around a quarter of respondents said there was nothing the City needed to do to improve, while the most cited suggestions included creating more cycle paths, attracting more cafes and restaurants and improving public transport.

Conducted by market research consultancy Painted Dog, the survey also compared the City of Melville to the rest of WA with favourable results.

Melville residents’ net happiness with standard of living, financial security, achieving in life, personal relationships and health were between 7-10 per cent higher than the State average.

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said there was no room for complacency despite the generally strong results and flagged interaction between council and community as an area that required improvement.

“We are always working to increase levels of engagement between council and community, particularly when there are issues that need to be properly understood and considered prior to council taking a major decision,” he said.

“Launching in mid-February, the City’s new online engagement website Melville Talks will provide a forum for the community to ask questions of project managers, share their ideas, respond to surveys, join online discussion groups and register to participate in community reference groups.”

He also addressed the disparity in some satisfaction measures between north and south Melville.

““While the overall survey score indicated that 81 per cent of Melville residents are very happy with their standard of living, there are some lower socio-economic areas in the southern suburbs which could account for the differences particularly as the survey measures how people ‘feel’ about their lives and circumstances,” Mr Aubrey said.

“To ensure that we are dealing with the unique needs of our different communities, the City has established Neighbourhood Plans which capture the unique characteristics of each community and its people, as well as the social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects of that particular area.”

The full results of the survey can be viewed on the City of Melville website.