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Law Reform · Access to Justice

Have your say: Community engagement planning toolkit

05 June, 2017

The Queensland Government has prepared a draft community engagement toolkit to help encourage meaningful, effective and consistent community engagement in planning decisions under local governments. Have your say before Friday 9 June 2017.

Click here to view a copy of the document: Draft community engagement toolkit

How effectively community engagement is undertaken in planning decisions can vary greatly between developments and between local governments. The Queensland Government has prepared a draft community engagement toolkit to help encourage meaningful, effective and consistent community engagement in planning decisions under local governments.

The draft toolkit provides local governments with direction and information to support the creation of local government community engagement strategies. The local government strategy will guide how the local government undertakes community engagement on new and amended local planning instruments, as well as for development applications. It also assists local governments in meeting their requirements under the Minister Guidelines and Rules for local planning instruments.

This is a particularly important strategy given that there is now more discretion provided to the local and state government as to how public notification will be required to be undertaken under the new planning framework.  The toolkit provides some needed guidance to ensure that the decision as to how community engagement is undertaken is well-informed. Although it is not a statutory document, the toolkit and consequent strategies developed by the local government also allow the community to point to an expected standard of community engagement, if they feel engagement has not been adequate.

The government states an intention that this toolkit will 'be recognised as the main repository for leading practice community engagement in Queensland for the planning system'. The toolkit is intended to be updated by the state government in response to feedback and current engagement trends.

EDO Qld understand the significant importance of meaningful community education, to ensure better quality planning decision making that meets the needs and incorporates the considerations of all those impacted.

EDO Qld recommend that the toolkit provides more specific and clear recommendation that community engagement be undertaken:

  • prior to a development application being submitted, to assist in better community understanding and improve the potential social licence of development; and
  • multiple times for local planning instruments – to demonstrate the draft and then the version incorporating suggested feedback from the initial consultation.

EDO Qld also recommend that the toolkit encourage as standard practice that local and state government implement email lists and social media sites to assist in advertising public consultation opportunities more widely.  However, noting that traditional methods such as newspaper adverts, on site notification and hard copy mail are still necessary to ensure those without computer use are not excluded from consultation.

The toolkit is scheduled to be released for use by local government alongside the new planning system on 3 July 2017.

Submissions on the draft community engagement toolkit are due by 5 pm, Friday 9 June 2017.

The Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning has prepared a word template to help guide submissions.

Submissions can be provided via one of the following methods:

  • completing the online form
  • emailing your submission to bestplanning@dilgp.qld.gov.au – remember to include your full name and email address
  • post your submission to:
    Community engagement toolkit
    Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
    PO Box 15009
    CITY EAST QLD 4002

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