A City grows up
Nestled at the base of Melbourne's Dandenong Ranges, Knox became a City in 1969. For over three decades it experienced rapid residential and industrial growth. Many young families moved here for the space, work and lifestyle opportunities on offer.
That growth has now slowed and the City is maturing into an established, prosperous, family friendly community. While pockets of the City are still experiencing high growth and the attendant needs of young families, overall the proportion of older people is increasing, requiring careful planning of service delivery.
Council enjoys one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings of all Victorian Councils, a position it intends to maintain. "Council achieved its high rating because of its commitment to the needs of the community and because it is very much a part of the community," Chief Executive Officer, Terry Maher said.
"Achieving the second level in the Australia Quality Awards has provided objective evidence of this." Mr Maher pointed out that the key to delivering quality service is the attitude of staff, more than 50% of whom live in Knox. "A key factor to arise from a staff opinion survey was the enormous commitment and pride staff have in working for the City," he said.
In spite of these achievements, Knox is not resting on its laurels. While the City has established a good residential mix, and a healthy blend of economic opportunities in an enjoyable environment, Mr Maher said it is now important to stay abreast of the changing needs of the community and respond to them creatively.
"The challenge is to balance the needs which arise from the changing demographics of the area," Terry Maher said. He said the City currently faces several other challenges including the need to address residents' concerns about planning issues and the provision and maintenance of infrastructure appropriate to the changing demographics of the area.
Another area of concern is public transport which has failed to keep pace with the population growth of the area during its period of rapid expansion.