JTA Australia has delivered some of Australia’s biggest community consultation projects across public and private sectors. Depending on their complexity and geographical spread, some community consultation exercises have proceeded for three years
JTA’s delivery process for community consultation enables opportunities for the community and stakeholders to provide input irrespective of location, language skills or physical abilities.
We enhance pubic confidence in the community consultation process through a range of techniques and tools including online and real time interface, well informed information services that are responsive and reliable. Our community consultation personnel are always empathic, and hyper alert to potential risks and their management.
Our community consultation services are supported with database management, sensitive and speedy handling of enquiries and complaints, superb facilitation, logistics and events management for every type of public meeting as part of the community consultation exercise and the communication of complex technical issues in Plain English
JTA delivers an empathetic, robust and transparent community consultation process which enables every community member and stakeholder to participate.
Those that are not participating in the community consultation program are encouraged to do so using diverse techniques including mobile coffee vans (at shift changeover times).
Involvement in the community consultation will be difficult for those people who like a quiet life, or value their privacy and are reluctant to provide contact details. JTA personnel are adept at involving communities and often utilising those broader community consultation exercises to ensure individuals have the support or company of their own friends and families. It can be a softly softly community consultation approach or as upfront as required.
Client personnel often join with JTA staff as part of the process and skills transfer can be an integral part of the community consultation process. It often does not come naturally to technical experts although with very few exceptions most technical experts can adapt their style to community consultation skills which often run counter to their own training and natural styles. Most experts early in the community consultation process can usually accept the benefits of learned skills and techniques; these can be transferred to other projects and provide future career opportunities.
Although not mentioned frequently as part of community consultation, planning is an essential element of most good projects. Global companies particularly like to commence community consultation well prepared and the initial stakeholder and environmental mapping can take months to ensure that every risk has been identified and appropriate mitigation streams identified.
Stakeholder and risk identification often go hand in hand so that knowledge and understanding of the location, its nuances, sensitivities and politics are understood from commencement and the client needs to have the confidence of knowing it has employed a community consultation team expert in the area and with a repertoire that includes techniques for any eventualities.
Although both JTA and the clients prefer the benefits attached to a well-planned community consultation exercise there have been occasions when JTA has been asked to take over a project after a poor performance by another consultant. This is not easy but can be done if all parties are prepared to put the necessary time and effort into the exercise. Most experienced community consultation practitioners will acknowledge that 16 hour days are routine and at the end of a two or three week intensive ‘road show’ there is a close bond between the client and JTA teams that often translates into other projects.
Reference has been made previously to the importance of project location vis-à-vis any community consultation program. It is also vital that any community consultation exercise is tailored to the particular environment. Operating in a metropolitan area is completely different to the needs, expectations and attitudes of communities in rural or remote Australia. JTA has the benefit of having delivered community consultation projects in areas as disparate as Hobart, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Broome, Port Fairy, Weipa, Murray Bridge, Mildura...the list is virtually endless.
Sectors in which community consultation has been delivered include energy, water, transport, mining, oil and gas, the beef industry, finance, nuclear, as well as governments at all levels. There are some projects we will not do as we count the capacity to be upfront and transparent with both communities and clients of paramount importance.
PO Box 81, Hamilton Qld 4007 Australia
07 3268 6665