The Queensland Department of Main Roads (DMR) was preparing the business case for Sections 2 and 3 of the Townsville Ring Road. There was a great deal of public scepticism about the $119 million project arising from the many delays leading up to the construction of Section 1. The public also continued to be critical of some aspects of Section 1 of the Ring Road. DMR was required to undertake community consultation on the concept design for Sections 2 and 3, but wanted to ensure the focus was on the new project rather than the previous section and that this focus was maintained over the life of the project.
Balfour Consulting undertook householder research in the project catchment before devising strategies and implementation plans. Two key community demographics were identified by the research, along with preferred methods of receiving information. Throughout the project, communications and community activities were designed to meet these requirements. In addition, key concerns and issues were listed along with plain English answers for use on the project website and at public displays. Key stakeholder surveys were undertaken at regular intervals over four years to monitor the effectiveness of the community engagement and to obtain feedback on potential improvements. A post-completion survey of residents provided information on the performance and effectiveness of the project team.