Lake Macquarie is located on the east coast of Australia and one of the largest cities in New South Wales. Lake Macquarie City Council provides the community with a diverse range of products and services to improve the residents' lifestyle.
The Future Flood Risks Management Plan
Council is responsible for the provision of new infrastructure and maintenance of the city's existing infrastructure. This includes the management of flood prone land. In 2012, the Lake Macquarie Waterway Flood Study and Lake Macquarie Flood Risk Management Study and Plan was adopted by Council.
A key part of the Plan's recommendations included increasing floor heights for new developments and establishing Local Adaptation Plans to manage the future risk from flooding and tidal inundation for low-lying suburbs.
Since then, Council has been implementing community engagement processes, working with lakeside communities to understand options to manage risks from rising lake levels and lake flooding. Council used Darzin community engagement software to assist with this process.
Lake Macquarie foreshore. Source: Lake Macquarie City Council
Community Engagement Program
Darzin was implemented in 2013 to as the community engagement software for the Planning for Future Flood Risks project.
Council collaborated with residents, businesses, community groups and service providers from foreshore communities to develop a community engagement model to prepare for future increases in flooding and projected sea level rise around the Lake Macquarie foreshore.
A number of community consultation workshops were undertaken. More than 60 people from the Lake Macquarie region participated. The workshops were by invitation only, to encourage a mix of participants. Stakeholder feedback was input into Darzin for analysis and reporting.
Community workshop participants. Source: Lake Macquarie City Council
A range of analyses were generated in Darzin stakeholder engagement software in terms of community engagement outcomes. Some examples are below. These outcomes were used to develop a publicly available engagement strategy that would guide Council in its interactions with the community throughout the local adaptation planning process.
Source: Planning for Future Flood Risks Community Engagement Workshop Report, Lake Macquarie City Council 2013
Follow on the successful use of Darzin for the Planning for Future Flood Risks, Council expanded the Darzin license to help manage stakeholder engagement for other development projects such as the Cardiff Streetscape project, and the contaminated lands management innitiative.