A CITIZENS' jury and better notification of proposed developments were among the suggestions put to Bathurst Regional Council for its Community Participation Plan (CPP).
Council held a recent discussion forum to gather more feedback on the CPP, which came after the public exhibition period.
The majority of the speakers who addressed council had made submissions during the exhibition period.
Chris O'Rourke said council's current methods of consulting with the public were not completely effective as it tended to be the same people who would attend meetings, vote in polls and give feedback in surveys.
"The 'usual suspects' do not represent a cross-section of the community," he said.
As a solution, Mr O'Rourke suggested that council introduce a citizens' jury, as has been used in some parts of Australia.
The jury would be convened to provide recommendations for significant planning issues.
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Members of the jury would be asked to consider alternative resolutions that could be adopted.
"We need a citizens' jury to deliberate and make recommendations on the big issues that confront us," Mr O'Rourke said.
"A citizens' jury would not be convened very often; it would only deal with the big issues: those related to strategic planning.
"Operational decisions would still be made by elected councillors and carried out by council staff."
Bathurst Heritage Network representative Sandy Bathgate also spoke at the forum.
Regarding notification, he said it should be given to anyone who may be affected by a proposed development.
Mr Bathgate also wanted development applications for landmark sites to be exhibited when anything other than minor works were proposed and "that way we will avoid these big cases that have caused us trouble in the past".
A report will come back to council at a future meeting, where councillors can vote to adopt the CPP.