Roads and Maritime Services is replacing the bridge over the Clyde River at Batemans Bay to provide a more reliable connection across the river and to improve traffic flow and access to Batemans Bay. Batemans Bay is a major regional centre on the New South Wales south coast and the closest coastal town to Canberra, making it a popular holiday destination.
Aurecon commenced consultation as early as possible and in a very clear manner to ensure stakeholders were aware and accepting of the project’s benefits and provided with an opportunity to give meaningful feedback. This also allowed for the quick resolution of issues as they arose.
A community survey was carried out at the preferred option stage of the project to find out what the community valued and to ensure their feedback was fed into Aurecon’s design work. The survey provided critical information on the views and values of the community, which influenced Aurecon’s development of the concept design.
A wide range of communication tools were used – from traditional to digital – to ensure the wider community had a chance to have their say. Information sessions were held in the main shopping centre and along the river foreshore in Batemans Bay town centre. These were supported by static displays throughout the region, an extensive letterbox drop, and videos distributed via social channels and media outlets. The project team also communicated in a proactive, responsive and sensitive way to property owners through face-to-face door knocking, information sessions and meetings.
Aurecon designed a bespoke digital strategy to communicate with harder to reach groups, including young people, the elderly, diverse minorities, and those who did not reside in the area such as property owners and visitors. To allow the entire community, including those without home internet, the opportunity to visualise the project in a meaningful and engaging way, as well as experience the latest 3D technology, Aurecon developed the following visualisation techniques:
Feedback received from the community that directly influenced design:
Aurecon’s engagement programme delivered meaningful contributions from the community to the design of the new bridge. Roads and Maritime Services remains committed to working closely with the community and stakeholders throughout the next stages of the project.