This site is owned and operated by the City of Melbourne using software licensed from Harvest Digital Planning (Harvest). For details on how the City of Melbourne collects and protects your personal information, refer to its Privacy Policy below. For details of how Harvest may access personal information, please refer to Harvest’s Privacy Policy.

The City of Melbourne takes the privacy of the participants using this site very seriously.

Our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information is regulated by the Victorian Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. You can find more information about your privacy rights at the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.

This privacy statement applies to Participate Melbourne. For information about the broader collection and use of personal information by the City of Melbourne, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

Site visitor data

Participate Melbourne collects information for statistical and system administration purposes. This includes:

  • Your server (or IP) address
  • The day and time you visited our site
  • The pages that you access within Participate Melbourne including how long you spend on each
  • Your route through Participate Melbourne (the sequence of pages and other content that you visit)
  • The operating system you are using
  • Any documents, images or videos that you download from the service
  • Your rough geographic location
  • The language of your browser
  • Your internet service provider
  • The type of browser and version you are using.

To the extent that this data could make you identifiable, the City of Melbourne will not attempt to identify individuals from the records the server automatically generates unless necessary to investigate a breach of law or regulation.

Member registration

If you are a registered user, we may, in addition to the above data and depending on the nature of the consultation, collect the following information:

  • Full name, gender, post code, address, email address and age bracket
  • Username and password for Participate Melbourne
  • Subscription by you to other (optional) electronic communications from us
  • Topics about which you have indicated an interest in being consulted or informed.

User feedback

We collect information that you provide via the Participate Melbourne feedback tools. This includes:

  • comments and votes in forums
  • stories
  • surveys
  • interactive maps
  • quick polls


Cookies are used on our site, but they do not collect any personal information. For the most part they are sessional and just contain system-generated values to identify the user's session for statistical and system administration purposes only.

We collect the data and information through a combination of Google Analytics, server logs and tools within the functionality of the site, using data security protocols.

Social media

If you register or log in to Participate Melbourne via Facebook we will verify your details with Facebook but will not store your Facebook account information.


Our privacy statement does not apply to other websites we may link to. We recommend you read the relevant privacy statement when you access another site.

We use the personal information about you to:

  • administer the site and manage your account
  • identify when you sign into your account
  • send you newsletters and information, but only when you have agreed to us sending you this information or when the information is necessary to assist with the administration of the site
  • respond to queries that you have contacted us about
  • attribute content that you post on the site to you
  • analyse use of the site to inform ongoing improvements and enhancements
  • inform policy decisions by the City of Melbourne
  • for any other purposes that we indicate to you when we request your personal information.

Content that you post on the site publicly, will be able to be viewed by everyone who uses the site. Each post will contain your username and any publically available reports from consultations, and may include quotes from participants in forums, surveys and other consultation tools.


By monitoring this additional information that you provide, we are able to protect the integrity of the discussions from individuals and groups who may attempt to unduly influence the outcomes of a consultation process. For example, we check to ensure each user has a single email account. We also review the site to protect it from spam or trolls.

This information is analysed and interpreted by City of Melbourne staff and selected consultants to help inform the creation of better projects, plans and policies.

Third Parties

We may also disclose personal information to third parties, and you consent to us disclosing your personal information, for the following purposes:

  • consultants of the City of Melbourne who perform various services for and on behalf of City of Melbourne. These contractors have agreed to be bound by the provisions of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. Information provided to these contractors is limited to contact details provided by you whilst contacting us
  • other local governments and State government departments, in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy.

Access and correction

Requests for access to and correction of documents containing personal information and held by the City of Melbourne, are handled under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and can be addressed to the:

Manager Governance and Legal
City of Melbourne
GPO Box 1603

When you sign up for a user account you provide two types of information:

  1. publicly available information
  2. information available to both City of Melbourne and Harvest.

Publicly available information

Publicly available information is limited to your username and any comments you leave under that name in the forums or other feedback tools on Participate Melbourne.

Content that you post on the site publicly, will be able to be viewed by everyone who uses the site. Each post will contain your username and any publically available reports from consultations, and may include quotes from participants in forums, surveys and other consultation tools

Please note that the City of Melbourne is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) legislation. The Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives individuals and corporations a general right of access to documents held by Council. This includes documents created by Council, documents held by contracted service providers and documents supplied to Council by external organisations or individuals.

Information available to both City of Melbourne and Harvest Digital Planning includes:

  • all information from the sign-up form
  • comments, questions, stories, guestbook posts
  • survey responses, quick poll responses, map pins
  • general site activity such as document downloads, videos viewed, images viewed etc.
  • information on the technology used to access the site.


Regardless of whether you are a registered user, we will retain any communications that you send to us in accordance with the Victorian Public Records Act 1973. The personal information you submit through Participate Melbourne will generally be hosted in Victoria and New South Wales but may be hosted on occasion in New Zealand. Please be aware that New Zealand may not have privacy protections substantially similar to Victoria.

Where data in Google Analytics and HotJar is stored offsite, we ensure this is depersonalised and cannot be used to identify specific individuals. Where data and information is collected via the site’s servers and tools, this is managed through our data security protocols and processes.

Policy updates

We may update the content of this Privacy Policy from time to time for any reason. The updated version of the Privacy Policy will apply to you as soon as it is posted on the website, so we suggest that each time you return to the consultation website you should review the Privacy Policy (and the Terms of Use).

We may send you information and announcements from time to time by email or via social media networks.

You can choose to receive newsletters and other updates from us by email. If you choose this but then change your mind, you can unsubscribe at any time by following the process set out in the emails and newsletters that we send you.

You can contact the Council’s Privacy Officer at if you have any enquires concerning Council's privacy procedures.

Updated August 2019