The case for reshaping community consultation practices: Evidence from the Community
In October 2015, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development released the Western Sydney Airport Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) and Draft Airport Plan for public exhibition. The EIS included a series of engagement strategies with communities and stakeholders across Greater Western Sydney.
Good community engagement can create opportunities to resolve conflict and instill trust in both the decision making process and the decision makers. Community engagement can also be an opportunity for participants to learn about a new process, develop skills to debate and reach consensus, and enhance their capacity to engage in similar processes in the future.
While good stakeholder engagement has the potential to lead to many positive outcomes for communities, evidence suggests that a lack of participation in decision making is damaging to health and wellbeing. A health impact assessment (HIA) was conducted to examine the potential positive, negative, and unintended impacts of engagement practices relating to the Western Sydney Airport (WSA). This systematic process offers recommendations to mitigate the harms and improve benefits.
Between May and June 2016 five community workshops were held in the Greater Western Sydney suburbs of Blacktown, Bringelly, Cabramatta, Lawson and Oran Park and an online survey was also publicly available to enable contributions for those unable to attend the workshops.
Western Sydney Community Forum and the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE) are now excited to announce the launch of the Health Impact Assessment of the Western Sydney Airport Community Engagement Process report and a copy of the full report can be downloaded using the link below.