The community panel
4 May 2015
As one part of the community engagement process we have assembled a community panel to work with the project team over an extended period of time. The panel is a group of nearly 40 residents who live around the Central to Eveleigh corridor. Panel members are everyday residents who were selected at random.
Over time, panel members will develop in-depth knowledge of planning concepts and be able to provide considered feedback about planning issues that we can then explore with the wider community. Our aim is for the group to be broadly representative of people who live in the local community. Summary notes from panel meetings will be uploaded to the website when available.
The panel is one part of a larger program of activities that will provide opportunities for anyone with an interest in the project to have a say and stay up to date.
Q. How long will the panel continue to meet?
Panel members have committed to two day-long workshops and several evening workshops this year. After this, the process will be evaluated and the panel may continue to support future detailed precinct planning.
Q. Are panel members being paid to support the project?
Panel members receive a $150 gift card for participating in each full-day workshop. There will be several $50 gift cards given as lucky door prizes at the evening workshops, but no individual payment. We aim to hear panel members’ independent views and opinions on the project. There is no expectation that members support the project.
Q. What decisions will the panel be responsible for making?
The panel does not have any decision-making authority and instead provides in-depth feedback so the project team understands the wide range of community views about planning for the area. There is no assumption that the group will reach consensus, it is instead an opportunity for the panel members to give robust feedback to the project team.
Q. Is the panel a deliberative process?
The panel is deliberative in so far as it is a nonaligned group of everyday citizens who we have brought together in a way that supports them to adopt a critical mindset, to learn about and understand the complexities affecting planning, appreciate different perspectives, consider consequences and reflect on alternatives before coming to a view.
Q. Who is facilitating the meetings?
The panel process is being independently facilitated by Straight Talk, a company that specialises in community consultation. Members of the project team will attend each meeting to present information, answer questions and gain a better understanding of the breadth of views in the community. To better understand the project, panel members have indicated they would value hearing from representatives of active community groups and from Transport for NSW.
Q. How were members recruited?
Letters were sent to approximately 80 people selected at random from a list of respondents who took the random telephone survey last year (sample 500) and said they were interested in ongoing participation. To attract younger members, recruitment was supplemented with signs placed at Sydney University and at student housing (UrbanNest and Unilodge) and discussions with the Student Union and youth service providers operating in the area.