The project is to undertake an examination of the effectiveness of community engagement through the employment of three paradigms; Philosophical/historical; Empirical; and Legal. These will be applied to a case study of participants Brisbane wide.

Brisbane City Council (BCC) state the primary community engagement undertaken by the council is through their  Neighbourhood Planning process. This process is undertaken with extensive community engagement, on a defined area by area basis, with application to a Brisbane wide context (CIty Plan). Public controversy has followed the process and outcomes. In response BCC claim community satisfaction.

Aside the process adopted by the council, other options for community engagement exist at all levels of government within Australia covering various matters including environment, planning, heritage and resources. While there is a degree of latitude in each application of the process, the pivotal extent of community input and decision making is defined within legislative requirements. This in turn is subservient to governance requirements (including electoral) and established rights under law, both by statue and precedent.

The question is, in applying the context, contemporary paradigms and legislative controls is it an effective process from the participants’ perspective? If not what would make an effective process while still adhering and balancing the important legal requirements and recognition of the rights of property law and ownership, consistency of decision making by government at all levels and recognition of participants’ wants and needs?

Funding: APA (Australian Postgraduate Award)

Advisors: Dr David Wadley, Dr Chris McGrath


Project members

Chris Robertson

Chris Robertson

PhD Graduate