Community engagement is a critical part of development and for too long it has been a source of angst for developers, communities, and governments alike. In 2017, we decided it was time to deep dive to fully understand the issue and what we can do to address it.
Our Research Foundation works on qualitative research projects guided by our Industry Leaders Research Group (ILRG). We conducted a significant body of research to understand the critical links in the current community consultation process.
The objective of the work was to determine how we should engage with the community to present, refine, and approve new developments to achieve better outcomes.
The research undertaken proved conclusively that there is significant room for improvement and innovation in how all stakeholders approach the community engagement process.
In 2018, we released a community engagement guide, Being a good neighbour. The purpose was to share insights from our research and provide solutions our members could put into action. The guide provided a top-level overview of the issues. This was an important first step in innovating the process, but after releasing the guide we found there was a strong appetite for more detail.
The Community Engagement Toolkit builds on the 2018 guide and aims to equip our members with tried-and-tested tools to engage more effectively. The toolkit is divided into three stages: Introduce, Inform, and Invite. Corresponding templates or examples are provided for reference and use. The tools have been rigorously tested in focus groups and by developers on real projects. The feedback from members has been overwhelmingly positive. This approach successfully invites the community on the development journey and removes some of the angst from the process.
Both the guide and the toolkit are available to members only. Members can request a copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We must work together if we are to build trust with communities and authentically engage with them around our developments. Queensland is growing and we need to forge a new path if we are to deliver the dwellings needed to house our rapidly expanding population.