Flinders Mall Redevelopment – Stakeholder and Community Engagement

The Challenge

After much public debate, the Flinders Mall Redevelopment project began in 2010 with the aim of revitalising the city heart by re-opening the Mall to calm two-way traffic.  The project would affect over 200 shops and businesses, as well as a well-established Sunday market, through road, pavement and associated works extending from March 2010 to August 2011.  Townsville City Council managed communications to the wider community, while we managed engagement and consultation with:

  • business owners and managers, property owners and residents within and adjacent to the project construction area
  • Cotters Market traders and management
  • project ‘partners’ such as the Chamber of Commerce.

The Solution

The program was developed around providing stakeholders with timely information and obtaining feedback.  A risk management plan was developed in association with property owners and business owners/managers in the project catchment, enabling the development of contingency plans for managing the impact of negative and sustained reactions.  Coordinated communications and feedback were obtained through:

  • Development of a comprehensive email database
  • Weekly Traders Meeting held in a central office
  • Weekly Communication Coordination Meeting for all project partners
  • Personal delivery of Weekly Updates along with email deliveries, so shop assistants also were informed
  • Stakeholder surveys delivered to every shop and business and collected later
  • Information sessions for traders after closure of the Sunday Cotters Markets
  • Visits to shop owners to detail coming actions that might affect them, as well as updating on any schedule changes

The Outcome

  • 746 stakeholder contacts by infoline and email
  • 1 preconstruction (baseline) stakeholder survey and 8 construction surveys with ratings ranging from the lowest of 6.8 (baseline) to 8.1 (last survey during construction)
  • The project was completed within the required time frame, with the support of most property and business owners and without any major public issues.