Australia: Forums Underway on Hastings Port Expansion Plan
Community engagement is ramping up for the Port of Hastings Development Authority as a range of forums get underway with local councils and the community to seek input and views on the Container Expansion Project.
The Authority’s newly established stakeholder engagement network, PORTicipate, gathered in Hastings last week for its first meeting, with CEO Mike Lean saying he was pleased with the outcomes of the first session.
“Bringing together a group of people with differing perspectives will help us gain valuable insight into the values of the Western Port community and the real issues facing our important stakeholders,” Mr Lean said.
“PORTicipate is a space for conversations and advice which will lead to better outcomes for the community and the Container Expansion Project. We are putting an emphasis on developing a shared sense of commitment to the project within the community, sustaining our natural environment, maximising local benefits and ongoing, inclusive dialogue,” Mr Lean said.
Within PORTicipate there are three discussion groups – Community, Environment and Business members discuss views and topics facing each of their communities. The integrated PORTicipate network is made up of 25 members who live, work and play in Western Port with meetings to be held throughout the year.
In addition to the PORTicipate network, the Authority has invited a number of local councils to participate in a Council Advisory Group with the first meeting scheduled for 14 March 2014.
“It is critical that the expertise, views and advice of council are understood and considered in the planning and development process. In addition to the regular one-on-one conversation that we have with local councils we are excited to add the Council Advisory Group to this process,” said Mr Lean.
The Council Advisory Group will provide an integrated, regional forum for discussion on the Container Expansion Project, including identifying and exploring opportunities or concerns associated with container expansion, and communicating progress and updates.
The Authority team, who maintain regular contact with local councils, communities and other stakeholders, will use PORTicipate and the Council Advisory Group to further compliment their wider community engagement program and to share information to those interested in the planning and development process.
Press Release, February 28, 2014