Giving the people of NSW a voice on state initiatives


Have Your Say (or HYS) is a centralised hub on nsw.gov.au. HYS allows the public to provide feedback on current government initiatives that benefit the NSW community. Senior Content Advisor Shona Kervinen talks about how recent improvements to HYS enhanced its user experience and continues providing a platform where NSW Government and citizens have a two-way consultation on our state’s future. 

About Have Your Say 

Have Your Say (HYS) is a centralised hub where the public can give feedback on planned NSW Government initiatives that benefit NSW communities. These can include improvements or changes to government services, initiatives that drive the economy, or infrastructure projects.
 
Since 2012, the Premier’s Memorandum has required all NSW Government agencies to “involve the community in decision making on government policy, services and projects” and to “increase opportunities for people to participate in the way government makes decisions, have a real say, and be involved in localised decision-making including through local government.”

Any time you visit HYS, you will see a variety of consultations submitted by various government agencies for the public to submit their feedback. Current consultations on HYS include feedback sought on national parks, artificial intelligence, dam safety, regional street upgrades and a syllabus review.

Screenshot of the Have Your Say page on the nsw.gov.au website.

A new and improved Have Your Say

The NSW Government Digital Channels team relaunched the HYS platform in April 2020 as part of the new NSW Government website

Regular content editors and users would have noticed the user-friendly enhancements immediately. We improved on the previous content editor experience with a more streamlined consultation submission and approval process. Our centralised content support team also helps edit the content to meet accessibility and plain English requirements.

For customers, the benefits include:

  • a self-explanatory first-time experience of the platform
  • ten different ways for community members to submit their feedback, for a more accessible experience for everyone to have their say. These include:
    • online or by email
    • completing a survey
    • by phone or post
    • attending community meetings and town halls
  • a feature to filter consultations by region and/or topic that is of concern or interest to them.

The results reflect user satisfaction

The proof is in the numbers, that the improved HYS is a favoured consultation platform. 

Since its relaunch: 

  • in April 2020, when the new and improved HYS went live, pageviews increased by 35.4 %, compared to the month prior to relaunch
  • our top 10 consultation listings, comprising a mix of topics – from privacy laws and greyhound racing to senior’s strategy and child safety standards – attracted more than 10,000 pageviews each
  • agencies regard the portal as an effective communications channel. More than 150 content editors from across the NSW Government have access to the newer HYS portal and it’s growing each month as more agencies adopt nsw.gov.au.

We also noticed how our improved HYS platform empowered agencies to introduce new practices when running their public consultations. For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic reached NSW, they replaced in-person events, such as exhibitions and town halls, with live online events. We rapidly responded by updating our platform to allow registrations for online events.

Why NSW communities should use Have Your Say

HYS gives the public direct access to the consultations currently run by NSW Government agencies, all in one place. People can find all the information they need on nsw.gov.au to submit their feedback and have their say. It’s convenient, easy to use and access.

Want to know more about Have Your Say?

You can find NSW Government consultations and share your opinions on new projects, services and government policy affecting your community online by visiting Have Your Say on nsw.gov.au.  

NSW Government agencies can find out how to publish a consultation, register an account and contact the team online.

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