Community Engagement Services

Often times, when innovative or contentious developments are proposed, the quality of engagement between the applicant and the community and other stakeholders is just as important to obtaining the relevant regulatory approvals as the science that supports the project. Or when trying to find solutions to complex problems or implement change programs, the ability to explain technical concepts in non-technical language and listen to and understand diverse points of view is critical to finding a way forward.
That’s Why Molino Stewart is your Best Choice for community and stakeholder engagement.

Not only do we have the training, expertise and experience in engagement and facilitation techniques but we are environmental and natural hazard consultants who understand the scientific, legal, political and technical issues of your project, program or problem. Our expert facilitators have decades of experience in understanding how to effectively engage stakeholders and the community in productive consultation processes that can make the critical difference between success and failure in project or program implementation. We have membership and training from the International Association for Public Participation, the International Association of Facilitators and the Australian Association for Environmental Education.

Engagement can range from keeping people informed, through consulting and involving them in decisions, right through to empowering them as decision makers.  We have used a wide variety of communication, engagement and facilitation techniques across the full participation spectrum with communities, employees, businesses and government.  The appropriate tools depend on the project, the stakeholders and the level of participation needed and we can advise you on what will work best for you based on your objectives, time frame and budget.

Some of the tools we use include facilitated workshops, focus groups, drop-in sessions, listening posts, newsletters, media releases, social media information displays and online inquiry systems.

Your project or program is too important to get the engagement process wrong as that could cost you time and money or even put a stop to your plans. To speak to someone who understands the “technical” and the “techniques” Call Molino Stewart now.

Some examples of our Community Engagement projects include:

Flying-fox Community Engagement Plan

Community engagement plan for Flying Fox camp managementCampbelltown City Council intended to prepare a flying-fox camp management plan for Bingara Reserve in Macquarie Fields. To do this it required a community engagement plan to ensure that all stakeholders were consulted effectively and sensitively in the development of the camp management plan. A four-stage engagement process was developed and the key tasks included interviews with flying-fox camp managers from other local councils to identify key success factors for the development of the community engagement plan, preparation of the community engagement plan and consultation with Campbelltown City Council and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to prepare the final draft of the community engagement plan.

Grose River Bridge Environmental Assessment

Community Engagement in Grose River Bridge Environmental AssessmentAs part of a planning agreement North Richmond Joint Venture entered into with Roads and Maritime Services and Hawkesbury Shire Council, a number of transport infrastructure projects were proposed, including a feasibility study into the construction of a new bridge across the Grose River.  Molino Stewart was engaged to undertake an opportunities and constraints analysis of alternative bridge sites and prepare the environmental impact assessment. Stakeholder engagement and community consultation was undertaken, culminating in a community drop-in evening.

Reconfiguration of Traffic Lights and Egress on the Great Western Highway at Glenbrook

Community Engagement facilitation for Reconfiguration PlanningWe developed a community consultation and communications plan in liaison with Council. We ran public information session, online engagement and other methods to elicit community responses on preferred options. We then analysed community responses and provided a report to Council and the community on findings.

Community Engagement for Flood Mitigation Options

Community Engagement for Flood Mitigation Planning

The City of Greater Bendigo sought independent specialist engagement services to assist flood modellers in this project. Molino Stewart provided these services to seek community and other stakeholder views on potential mitigation options over three rounds of community consultation. We prepared a community engagement and communications plan in liaison with the council and a local community advisory group, This was implemented through three rounds of community consultation using a range of methods including Listening Posts in local shopping centres, regular project bulletins, face-to-face interviews and council’s website.

Community Engagement for Odour Issues Associated with the Albury Regional Waste Facility

Community Engagement for Odour Issues

We prepared a community engagement and communications plan in consultation with Council. We then implemented the plan by interviewing and surveying local residents about odour issues. We analysed results of the social research and provided a detailed report to Council and a summary report to residents.

Community Participation in Emergency Management Planning

Facilitation of Community Participation in Emergency Management PlanningNSW SES obtained Australian government funding to conduct research into using a community participation approach to its emergency management planning, particularly the development of local flood plans. Molino Stewart teamed with Risk Frontiers to conduct a literature review and then trialled several approaches in three different flood-prone communities in NSW. Molino Stewart developed a research plan for the project, undertook a literature review of relevant theory and practice, identified and designed trial methods emanating from the research, and facilitated the trial methods in three NSW communities – Narrabri, Burringbar and Chipping Norton (Sydney). We evaluated the trial methods using participant feedback, and provided detailed feedback reports to the SES.

Design and implementation of community participation in emergency planning

Partnered with Risk Frontiers to research and design methods for effective participation in flood emergency management planning for the NSW State Emergency Service. Trialled and facilitated designs in three communities: Narrabri (north-west NSW), Burringbar/Mooball (north coast NSW) and Chipping Norton (south-west Sydney).  Evaluated the effectiveness of the trials and helped write a project report.

Community Engagement Newcastle Floodplain Risk Management Plan

Community Engagement for Floodplain Risk Management PlanningThere are over 30,000 people impacted by flooding in this Council area. Residents and businesses have strong expectations about improving preparedness and response to flooding after the devastating 2007 event. Molino Stewart assisted Newcastle City Council to prepare a floodplain risk management plan and to develop structural and non-structural mitigation options.  Running effective community and stakeholder engagement initiatives was a key aspect of developing the plan and major community and stakeholder engagement initiatives included identification and profiling of stakeholders, engagement with government agencies and other groups, running resident focus groups and an developing and managing an online community feedback process. The community and stakeholder engagement kept residents and businesses in the community aware of the project and gathered concerns and feedback from stakeholders in an equitable, consistent and transparent manner.

Community Consultation for Lake Macquarie Foreshore Floodplain Risk Management Plan

Facilitation of Community Consultation for Foreshore Floodplain Risk Management PlanMolino Stewart provided specialist community consultation services. This consultation was particularly challenging due to the impact of sea level rise on flood projections and the perceived changes to property values.  We designed and implemented a community engagement plan in consultation with Council. The project included the facilitation of six workshops and surveys that allowed residents to provide feedback on the Study and Plan. We then wrote a report on community responses.

Focus Groups for the Review of the November 2007 Gippsland Flood Response.

Facilitation of community focus groups for SES VictoriaReviewed the preparedness and response of Newry and Tinamba communities in Gippsland related to the November 2007 Flood. Focus of the review was the effectiveness of VICSES initiatives such as the use of the FloodSmart education program in those communities. Review compared preparedness and response in November to June 2007 floods in the same area. Social research techniques in the review included focus groups in Tinamba and Newry communities, surveys and interviews with agency representatives.

Facilitation of Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Workshops

Community Consultation on carbon pollution reduction scheme(Latrobe City Council) – The Latrobe Valley in Victoria, largely dependent on its coal and power industries, is especially vulnerable to the potential impacts of a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). As part of a consortium of consultants, Molino Stewart designed the facilitation processes and facilitated six workshops with Council and a range of stakeholders to help prepare a CPRS policy position for the region.

Facilitation of Broad-headed Snake Workshops and Plan of Management

Community consultation workshops on conservation of broad-headed snakeMolino Stewart facilitated two workshops to investigate ways to better protect the Broad-headed Snake, in particular, the minimisation of bushrock use. The first workshop involved representatives from nursery, landscaping and alternative rock industries. The second workshop involved land manager representatives such as DECC, DPI Forests, Sydney Catchment Authority, local councils and service providers such as Transgrid and Alinta. The workshop outputs were reports documenting ways (particularly education and communications) stakeholders could use conserve the Snake. Molino Stewart also produced a Plan of Management from the workshops.

Community Consultation for the Botany Bay Cable Project

community consultation facilitated for the Botany Bay Cable ProjectCarried out consultation with the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council to ascertain the LALCs concerns regarding the proposed laying of new electrical cables from Bunnerong substation across Botany Bay to Kurnell substation.

Community Consultation for Newport Flood Education Plan

Community Engagement and Consultation for Newport Flood Education PlanFacilitated a consultative committee consisting of local residents, Council staff, SES and other government agency staff that provided advice on the content of the plan.

Holroyd Community Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

Molino Stewart prepared a stakeholder engagement strategy in relation to flooding following negative community feedback from a Council proposal to introduce a Development Control Plan, to manage the effects of overland flows and main channel flooding up to the PMF.