It’s an often misunderstood or overlooked fact that when an innovative or contentious project is proposed, the quality of communication between the project developer and various stakeholders affected by the proposal, can be just as important in obtaining the relevant regulatory approvals as the supporting science!
This is one very important reason why Molino Stewart is likely to be your best choice environmental, ecological or natural hazard consultant. Stakeholder consultation for complex and controversial projects is our speciality. We have vast experience in helping Government and private sector clients successfully execute large infrastructure projects with contentious environmental implications, and our experienced facilitators have designed and delivered programs that have helped diverse groups reach consensus on projects and programs related to natural resource management, natural hazards management and ecological and environmental sustainability.
Why Our Communication Skills are so Critical to Your Success
In our experience, getting stakeholders with different views communicating while they are informed with the relevant science, along with well developed mitigation and risk management plans, is the key to getting progressive and/or contentious projects approved, and this is an area where we excel.
Our team of natural hazard and environmental facilitators not only understand the science, the law and the technical issues involved on your project, we are expert in engaging stakeholders and the community in productive consultation processes that often make the critical difference between success and failure in project implementation and/or obtaining regulatory approvals.
Not all consulting companies appreciate the importance of stakeholder engagement, nor are they adequately equipped with staff that have the relevant skills, qualifications and training required to successfully facilitate stakeholder interaction and community engagement.
Don’t risk having consultants without our skills managing your project because failure caused by a lack of facilitation know how is expensive and avoidable.
We will help you identify stakeholders with whom you need to engage, whether they be internal, community, industry or government. For each we define consultation objectives and develop a stakeholder consultation plan. We develop the resources to support the implementation of the plan and are able to implement all or part of the plan, and tailor it to meet your needs and budget.
The engagement of your stakeholders can range from simply providing them with relevant information, right through to empowering them as part of the decision making process. The appropriate response depends on the project and the community.
We have designed, delivered and evaluated engagement, education and communications plans for a diverse range of environmental and natural hazard issues, on a broad range of projects, including very big infrastructure projects for government and private sector clients.
Highly qualified and vastly experienced, our staff will draw on the latest research and best practice relevant to your project. We are members of the International Association for Public Participation, the International Association of Facilitators, the Australian Association for Environmental Education and the Australasian Evaluation Society, so the range of resources and expertise we have available in stakeholder engagement and facilitation is vast. You can rely on our staff to develop community and workforce education and training programs that ensure your projects are well understood and successfully implemented.
Some examples of our Stakeholder Engagement and Facilitation projects include:
Review of the March 2012 North East Victoria Flood
Heavy rain fell across North East Victoria during late February and early March 2012 causing record flooding in some parts of the Goulburn-Broken river system, and impacting townships including Numurkah, Nathalia, Tungamah and Katamatite, Lake Rowan, Wilby, Invergordon, Wunghnu and Naring. As part of its role to provide assurance on the effectiveness of Victoria’s emergency management arrangements, the Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner engaged Molino Stewart to conduct an independent review of the flood event. We prepared a Lines of Enquiry in consultation with the client and provided advice on the community survey for the review, conducted stakeholder engagement with emergency services personnel and analysed extensive data and compared findings with the Victorian Floods Review report. From this, a review report was published by the Victorian Government.
Resilient Sydney Strategy - Emergency Management Gap Analysis
Molino Stewart interviewed representatives from fire and flood emergency agencies including RFS and NSW SES to investigate research gaps and issues for the development of a Resilient Sydney Strategy as part of climate change adaptation. We provided a detailed report based on the consultation and presented to forum of experts on the findings.
Design and facilitation of Disaster Resilience Forums in the Hunter and Central Coast
Molino Stewart designed and facilitated three forums to help build resilience within community service organisations and primary producers, for the Regional Coordination Branch, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinetbusinesses. The forum design involved interactive methods including scenario planning and small group problem solving particularly related to business continuity planning.
Design and Facilitation of Floodplain Risk Management Workshop
Molino Stewart designed and facilitated a workshop for local council floodplain managers in the Sydney Region. The workshop design consisted of presentations, small group discussions, open forums and Q&A sessions. Molino Stewart provided a forum evaluation report based on a feedback survey and comments from participants.
Private Land Conservation Working Group
On behalf of the Office of Heritage and Environment, Molino Stewart was engaged as an independent facilitator to help PLCWG member representatives in preparing a report on the status and future opportunities of private land conservation in NSW. We carefully scanned and reviewed national and international private land conservation programs and mechanisms. The facilitation then identified key issues, options and recommendations for the NSW Minister for the Environment to consider.
Facilitation of Community NRM Asset Workshops
(Hunter-Central Rivers CMA). We designed and facilitated a series of workshops where participants described and mapped what they perceived as NRM assets in their local area.
Penrith Rural Living Incentives Workshops: Biodiversity Scheme Research and Workshop Facilitation
Molino Stewart researched current incentives schemes for rural landholders and designed and facilitated two workshops for landholders in the Penrith LGA to identify possible ways for Council to support them in managing biodiversity and other environmental aspects on their properties. We produced hand-out material, developed a website concept plan for Council’s website to support the findings of the workshops and the feedback from participants and wrote a report on the findings which we presented to key Council staff.
Stakeholder Consultation for the Decommissioning of Bethungra Dam
(NSW Land and Property Management Authority). Molino Stewart conducted extensive and sensitive stakeholder consultation as a prelude to a Value Management Study and workshop to determine options for the future of Bethungra Dam that was deemed unsafe by the NSW Dams Committee. Stakeholders consulted included local farmers, district residents, Junee Shire Council, NSW Rural Fire Service, Department of Industry and Investment Fisheries NSW, NSW Maritime, NSW Dams Committee and fishing groups.
Facilitation of Irrigation Shareholders’ Workshops
(Murray Irrigation Ltd). Molino Stewart designed and facilitated three rounds of workshops (21 meetings) in Murray Irrigation’s area to ascertain farmers’ views on stages of an irrigation modernisation project.
Facilitation of Green and Golden Bell Frog Workshops
Molino Stewart designed a community engagement plan. We facilitated nine stakeholder workshops in Sydney, Wollongong and the Hunter Valley to develop local management plans for key GGBF populations in line with the draft NSW and national GGBF recovery plan.