yarra glen people's panel


Shire of Yarra Ranges

Citizens’ jury (named a people’s panel)

How and what infrastructure to invest in Yarra Glen

Key points:

In the early 1950s a small group of local women raised funds and garnered volunteer support to build a Baby Health Centre located at 39-41 Bell Street, Yarra Glen. By the late 1960s ownership was transferred to the then Healesville Shire Council which became a part of the Shire of Yarra Ranges. The sale of 39-41 Bell St, Yarra Glen in 2015 provided an opportunity to invest the proceeds into capital projects in the Yarra Glen community.

    A People’s Panel, or sometimes referred to as a Citizens’ Jury, is a means of involving local residents in the process of government decision-making. They are the complete opposite to an opinion poll. Instead of a four-minute telephone call, this will be a three-day deliberative process. As the name suggests, in essence, a People’s Panel is a group of randomly selected members of a community convened to consider a given topic (infrastructure projects for Yarra Glen) and provide a response or recommendation to the governing body (Yarra Ranges Council). In Australia and around the world, these juries have increasingly become recognised for their capacity to deliver outcomes that are trusted by the broader community.


    The juries report was received by Council in 2016. There were two main recommendations firstly to link the towns many assets through a series of walking trails and the second to investigate the possibilities of providing the infrastructure for Yarra Ranges to be powered through renewable energies. Implementation of recommendation one has commenced and investigations into recommendation two are underway.