What is community engagement?

    Community engagement refers to any process that involves the community (or stakeholder groups) in problem solving or decision making to inform decisions affecting the community. 

    What types of community engagements can I participate in?

    City of Gold Coast delivers a range of community engagements that designed to suit the objectives of a project, as well as the target audience (e.g. the community or stakeholder group). 

    City of Gold Coast delivers engagements in accordance with the IAP2 public participation principles. The most common methods to engage with the community include: 

    • Surveys
    • Focus groups
    • Forums
    • Information sessions
    • Commnity meetings

    What are the objectives of City of Gold Coast's community engagements?

    • Ensure that community views are considered in City decisions.
    • Ensure that community engagement is appropriately innovative.
    • Ensure that community engagement is coordinated and integrated in a consistent manner across the City.
    • Ensure meaningful community engagement in consultation.
    • Identify community capacity building areas for strategy development.
    • Establish and maintain partnerships between the City of Gold Coast and the community.
    • Build a network of community contacts.
    • Minimise the burden on community representation.
    • Adopt the values, behaviours and work plans necessary to give effect to the City of Gold Coast Community Consultation Policy.
    • Provide requirements for project management of community consultations.
    • Provide planning and evaluation templates to be completed by City staff and a registration form for registering community attendance at consultation meetings.

    Why is community engagement valued by City of Gold Coast?

    To enable a full decision making process by City of Gold Coast Council Committee or Council's elected representatives; and City staff may consider and report on a cross-section of information:

    • regional guidelines and national/international best practice
    • local values
    • professional assessments of local needs
    • resource availability.

    Community engagement is the key mechanism for the identification of local values and local needs that form part of staff advocacy to City of Gold Coast Council for a preferred project approach. During the community engagement and reporting processes City of Gold Coast staff must be mindful of the resource constraints and best practice standards affecting the project.

    In addition to ensuring internal City of Gold Coast control of all collected information, correct analysis and transparent reporting to Council bodies; there must be good community engagement able to:

    • identify stakeholders – an engagement process identifies those with an interest in a decision making area, and helps define their expectations
    • define the agenda – sets boundaries for the questions to be asked, encouraging debate around a structured set of opinions
    • allow for two-way discussion – dialogue assists in reaching choices acceptable to a wide range of interests
    • improve information flow – in addition to helping the community to interact and discuss issues through the careful planning of public meetings, a wide range of mechanisms are used to invite stakeholders to engagements
    • ensure a plan for evaluation

    What are the advantages of using the online forum?

    • It is a quick, safe and convenient way to have your say on a range of issues and topics and for you to help guide City of Gold Coast in making important decisions.
    • It is a great way to keep up to date and contribute your views on issues affecting your community.
    • You can see what other community members think about an issue or topic, respond to their comments and develop ideas together.
    • You don't have to attend community meetings at a set place and time,in fact by participating online you can contribute at a time and place that suits you.
    • Online discussion forums allow for a range of different people, with different views, to express their views and ideas and to discuss and work together on matters that impact on their community.

    How is the site moderated?

    Every comment is valued for its content. This online discussion forum allows everyone to have a say and it brings out many different ideas and viewpoints. A single comment may have as much influence as 100 comments if the idea is a good one.

    In order to play a positive part in the discussion and to give your views maximum impact we encourage you to follow the etiquette guide.

    All moderation is carried out by Bang the Table and is independent to City of Gold Coast. The moderators do not edit or alter any comments and will only remove comments deemed to be significantly off topic, offensive or malicious, in which case they are removed from the site immediately.