As a newcomer to the Ashwood community, building constructive and transparent relationships with the community was identified as a high priority, and critical to how well the local community accepted the project and its impacts.
A Community Liaison Committee (CLC) was established with membership including a cross section of community representatives (local government, state government, schools, police, neighbourhood houses, community services, health services etc). The CLC were the conduit for information flow to and from the broader community.
During the planning phase PPHA engaged with target audiences by implementing a range of activities to provide a robust level of understanding of community views, including regular meetings with the CLC, door-to-door consultations with local residents, meetings with local stakeholder organisations and agencies, and open public information sessions.
Feedback accumulated throughout the consultation process was given equal weighting during analysis, with priority given to issues and concerns that achieved the highest frequency across consultation activities. This approach ensured that the consultation wasn’t captured by any active minority groups focussed on singular issues regarding the development.
PPHA engaged Socom, public relations experts, to assist with the development of a general communications strategy and a media management strategy.
Ongoing communication with the community throughout construction was achieved through:
- A full time staff member located in Ashwood, accessible for community members to ‘drop in’
- Membership and involvement in various community groups and attendance at local meetings
- a monthly eBulletin
- a regular update in the Community Newsletter distributed to 5000 homes and businesses
- regular CLC meetings,
- a ‘webcam’ accessible on PPHAs website to view construction progress in real time