Lake Macquarie City Council Wins PIA Award
30th November 2016
FMA Member Lake Macquarie City Council has taken out the Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) Hard Won Victory Award for its Planning for Future Flood Risks: Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan. The Award is presented for a planning initiative that has resulted in positive planning outcomes in the face of difficult or trying circumstances.
The Plan focussed on incorporating sea level rise into the area’s flood study, and encountered a volatile, uninformed community which felt that change was unnecessary, and solely responsible for lowering property values and raising insurance premiums.
To dissolve the challenging elements of the relationship, Council undertook intensive community engagement initiatives, including recruiting 11 members of the community to form a Sub-Committee, which was responsible for reviewing the approximately 40 management options.
The key elements in ensuring the success of the Plan were:
- Building trusting relationships
- Flexible but firm planning processes
- Establishing clear objectives and performance criteria
- Continuing collaborative communication
- Encouraging community ownership of the Plan
Council’s Manager of Integrated Planning Sharon Pope provided a summary of the challenges and outcomes of the project to FMA’s Sydney Quarterly Meeting in November.