Night safety ‘gender gap’

City of Greater Dandenong's overall performance rating hit a record high. 238996_01 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

The gender gap was widened over perceived safety walking at night in Greater Dandenong, according to a recent survey.

In the 2021 Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey, women recorded a minus 21 in net perceived safety – eight points worse than 2020.

In contrast, men recorded a +37 net perception of safety – up six points from 2020.

Overall, there was a + 9 point rating for safety across the municipality.

Noble Park and Keysborough were rated the safest suburbs (+13), followed by Springvale (+10) and Dandenong (+2).

In the survey of 400 people, the council hit a record-high overall performance score of 68 – one point higher than the metro Melbourne average.

It rated highest with 65-plus year olds, Noble Park and Keysborough residents, and men.

The age groups 35-49 and 50-64, and Dandenong residents scored the council slightly lower.

On climate change, the council’s progressive agenda – including declaring a Climate Emergency – was seemingly endorsed.

Seventy-nine per cent of residents were concerned about the issue and 86 per cent stated the council had an important role responding to climate change.

Greater Dandenong’s top performing area was waste management – rated well above the metro average – and sealed local roads.

The most important council services to residents were waste management, disaster management, elderly support services, footpaths and sealed roads.

The least important were business development/tourism, lobbying, cultural, arts centres and libraries.

Greater Dandenong residents identified diversity as the best thing about their community, closely followed by parks and gardens, libraries, customer service, community support services and recreational and sporting facilities.

“Areas of improvement” were maintaining roads, waste management and parking availability.

Other ratings included community consultation a 60, compared to a metro average of 59.

Greater Dandenong mayor Angela Long said: “It is pleasing to see such positive results, and importantly it is great to see our community satisfaction score improve across several areas.”

Recently, women and gender-diverse people identified a list of unsafe spots in an innovative YourGround crowd-mapping survey.

Most notable were unlit spaces such as Dandenong, Noble Park and Sandown Park stations, Dandenong Park, car parks in Thomas Street and Parkmore shopping centre, and Springvale’s Newcomen Street and Warner Reserve.