Changes to council services

Some services and opening hours are different on the Anzac Day public holiday. See affected services and times.

Summary

  • Boroondara’s digital transformation is a major part of our strategy to completely redesign how we interact with our customers
  • It delivers a significant improvement to the services we provide to our residents and visitors
  • To date we have been successful in helping our community to get things done efficiently
  • Many of our 150+ services are now available online 24/7 so customers can interact with us anytime anywhere using their preferred device
  • We will keep our community updated on our progress while we make more services available online to deliver seamless, convenient and empowering experiences for everyone

You may have noticed recent media reports regarding Council’s investment in a digital transformation project, designed to provide a better customer experience to Boroondara residents. 

Unfortunately, local media reporting on this issue has created some confusion in our community, and in some instances was quite misleading. We’d like to take this opportunity to explain our investment in this project, and the enormous benefits it will provide. 

Contrary to some media reporting, we are not spending $11.7 million on a website, nor is there a loss, as implied in the headline of a local media article. There is no loss, and the investment is about far more than just a website. 

So what are we actually doing? We’re transforming the way our customers can communicate with us, locate the information they need, complete transactions and find solutions, at any time they like. 

As a Council we recognise that in their daily lives the vast majority of our community is able, and in many cases prefer, to use technology to interact with other organisations, at any time of the day or night that suits them. This is the case whether you talk about banks, insurance companies, making travel arrangements or purchasing tickets to events. 

Council had a choice. It could continue limiting the community’s access to services and information to when staff are in the office, and the options of gaining that access to phone calls, visiting Council in person, writing letters or sending emails - all of which can be quite time-consuming for the customer. 

The alternative is to enable our community to interact with us immediately and on a 24/7 basis by using a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Our aim is to create a way for people to get things done in the most efficient way possible, with a minimum of fuss. For example, to book a hard waste collection, residents previously needed to visit or phone Council’s offices during business hours, which could prove difficult for those who work full time or have other commitments during the day. The other alternative was to write a letter and await a response, which could take several days to even reach Council. 

Now you can go online at 3am in the morning if you wish and arrange the whole thing including the collection date. You will then receive an SMS confirmation of your booking. 

Because of this digital transformation, residents will soon be able to access most of Council’s 150 plus services easily, and at any time they prefer. 

The eForms we have created in this first phase of work have been used more than 72,000 times since introduced in 2016. There are many examples of such improvements, and many more to come.

This is not the development of a simple website. This project is a major overhaul and complete redesign of the way we interact with our customers, and a significant improvement to the service we are able to provide them.  

To do this right requires significant investment and takes time as the appropriate technology, skills, processes and culture are put in place across all of Council’s many services. We are driven by a strong desire to provide the best customer experience we can, and our residents have told us this is important to them.

This is a major transformation, and it is a complex thing to move from a traditional approach to service - where everything is designed around what works best for the organisation - to one where customers’ needs and preferences inform the way the way we deliver service. 

We believe our investment in this project will provide enormous benefits to residents of Boroondara, and we look forward to updating you as it takes shape. 

Council will be considering the next phases of this work when it prepares its budget for the next year, and we will continue to keep the community updated on our progress.