At our development projects, we work with local communities to create the places that they will call their own. We understand that development work affects the local community, and our teams work closely with affected stakeholders to accommodate their needs and concerns.
At our Bokarina Beach (Qld) residential community on the Sunshine Coast, the conditions of development approval required by both the Queensland planning authority and local authorities included an upgrade to Nicklin Way, an arterial road adjacent to the development. The upgrade originally included a standard underpass offering pedestrian access underneath Nicklin Way. However, the project team considered that in addition to the pedestrian pathway, the underpass could include a connection between the existing lake on one side with a lake proposed on the other side.
The adjustment promised to enhance the amenity of the underpass and was agreed in partnership with both Queensland and local authorities. Whilst design was relatively straightforward, coordinating the delivery was complex and required extensive planning and engagement with the community, the contractor and local stakeholders.
As Nicklin Way carries approximately 40,000 vehicles every day, it was important to engage with road users and the community about the planned changes. A detailed stakeholder engagement strategy formed the backbone of the project and considered local motorists, pedestrians, service providers whose infrastructure crossed under the road, and the nearby Kawana Waters State College Secondary Campus.
The Kawana Waters campus caters for 2,000 children, with 500 of them using the underpass to get to and from school every day. Working with the contractor, an informative newsletter and a number of assemblies were coordinated to explain the project, introduce the people who would be working on the project, and discuss what was required of the students. As an incentive to encourage positive student engagement, at the end of each term two vouchers for bicycles were awarded to students who demonstrated the most responsible behaviour.
The project team has worked hard to maintain a spirit of collaboration with the local community and respond to concerns as they have arisen. Completion of the upgrade is due for FY19, from when the community will be able to enjoy continuous lakefront pedestrian and bicycle paths underneath Nicklin Way.