Business Communication Project Report Gold Coast City Council Nature Conservation by muz13477

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									        Gold Coast City Council



Nature Conservation Strategy
  Communication Project
           FINAL REPORT




                 December 2005
               Gold Coast City Council

Nature Conservation Strategy
  Communication Project
               FINAL REPORT

                          December 2005
This report will assist the Gold Coast City Council communicate about its nature
conservation activities.
The supporting information provides an analysis of awareness, attitudes,
perceptions, concerns, needs, involvement and activities related to nature
conservation communication.
This report provides an overall synthesis of the supporting information and
recommendations for further developing and implementing a Nature Conservation
Communication Strategy.


                                prepared by



                                       PO Box 734
                                 South Brisbane BC 4101
                          Phone: 07 3846 7111; Fax: 07 3846 7144
                 Email: jenni@econnect.com.au or www.econnect.com.au

                                        for
                   Gold Coast City Council
                                                              Table of Contents

1 Executive Summary ..........................................................................................................................................1

2 Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................3

3 Project Objectives .............................................................................................................................................4

4 Approach ............................................................................................................................................................5

5 Data Collection and Analysis Methods .........................................................................................................6
  5.1 Desktop review ..........................................................................................................................................6
  5.2 Surveys.........................................................................................................................................................6
    5.2.1 Best practice survey............................................................................................................................6
    5.2.2 Telephone survey................................................................................................................................7
    5.2.3 Web-based survey...............................................................................................................................7
    5.2.4 Analysis ................................................................................................................................................7
  5.3 Focus groups and interviews....................................................................................................................8
    5.3.1 Focus groups .......................................................................................................................................8
    5.3.2 Interviews.............................................................................................................................................8
    5.3.3 Analysis ................................................................................................................................................9
  5.4 Workshops ..................................................................................................................................................9

6 Communication Strategy Recommendations: The first 4 steps ..............................................................10
  6.1 Communication objectives.....................................................................................................................10
    6.1.1 Awareness ..........................................................................................................................................10
    6.1.2 Knowledge.........................................................................................................................................10
    6.1.3 Attitudes.............................................................................................................................................11
    6.1.4 Behaviours .........................................................................................................................................11
  6.2 Groups and individuals to communicate with ....................................................................................11
    6.2.1 Internal ...............................................................................................................................................11
    6.2.2 External ..............................................................................................................................................12
    6.2.3 Prioritisation ......................................................................................................................................12
  6.3a Perceptions, concerns and needs of priority groups ........................................................................13
    6.3a.1 Council officers...............................................................................................................................13
    6.3a.2 Councillors.......................................................................................................................................13
    6.3a.3 Gold Coast Community ................................................................................................................14
    6.3a.4 Environmental groups ...................................................................................................................18
    6.3a.5 Schools .............................................................................................................................................19
    6.3a.6 Developers and development consultants..................................................................................19
    6.3a.7 Natural Resource Management groups.......................................................................................20
    6.3a.8 Tourism groups...............................................................................................................................20
    6.3a.9 State and Federal government agencies ......................................................................................20
  6.3b Current and desired relationships .......................................................................................................21
    6.3b.1 Council officers ..............................................................................................................................21
    6.3b.2 Councillors ......................................................................................................................................22
    6.3b.3 Gold Coast Community ................................................................................................................22
    6.3b.4 Environmental groups...................................................................................................................23


Nature Conservation Strategy - Communication Project : Final Report
Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
      6.3b.5 Schools.............................................................................................................................................23
      6.3b.6 Developers and development consultants .................................................................................24
      6.3b.7 Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups ........................................................................24
      6.3b.8 Tourism groups ..............................................................................................................................25
      6.3b.9 State and Federal government agencies......................................................................................25
    6.4 Key messages............................................................................................................................................25
    6.5 Communication strategies and activities ..............................................................................................26
      6.5.1 Taking a leadership role in nature conservation..........................................................................28

7 Recommendations ..........................................................................................................................................30
    7.1 Immediate actions (within 3 months)...............................................................................................30
    7.2 Short-term (in next 6 months)...........................................................................................................30
    7.3 Medium-term (in next 12 months) ...................................................................................................30
    7.4 Long-term (in next 3 years)................................................................................................................31

Appendix One: Performance indicators .........................................................................................................32
Appendix Two: Barriers to achieving communication objectives and suggestions for overcoming
these......................................................................................................................................................................35
Appendix Three: Perceptions, Concerns and Needs....................................................................................39
Appendix Four: Recommended Communication Strategies and Activities .............................................46




Nature Conservation Strategy - Communication Project : Final Report
Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
                                     1 Executive Summary
The GCCC Nature Conservation Communication Project provides important baseline data to Gold
Coast City Council on the issues surrounding nature conservation communication. The data has
been sourced through a series of surveys, focus groups, workshops, interviews and desktop reviews.

This Project has undertaken the first four stages of a GCCC Nature Conservation Communication
Strategy. This is based on a good understanding of the current perceptions, concerns and needs of
identified target groups and individuals in the region.

It is critical that the important role of nature conservation activities for the Gold Coast City be
underpinned by Councillors and the organisation as a whole. The first priority of the Council’s
Nature Conservation Communication Strategy is to work with Councillors and Council officers
involved, affected or interested in nature conservation to achieve shared objectives, messages and
activities for nature conservation.

The Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) wants to take a leadership role with the community and
government agencies, brokering partnerships with environmental groups, developers, natural
resource management groups, tourism groups and education providers. These partnerships will be
directed at jointly:
      • Raising awareness of the region’s natural assets and activities to conserve these assets
      • Increasing and sharing knowledge about the benefits, values, opportunities and desired
          outcomes from nature conservation activities
      • Increasing positive attitudes about the image of the Gold Coast and the Council in
          regard to nature conservation activities
      • Creating behaviours that lead to better coordination of, involvement in, support for and
          planning of nature conservation activities

It is vital that all Councillors are aware of the Council’s nature conservation activities, particularly
those relevant to their Division, and are champions for these.

There is low to moderate awareness of the nature conservation activities by the Gold Coast
community. There was support for nature conservation activities, although the perception of Gold
Coast nature conservation is poor. The Council, in particular, has a poor image in relation to land
use planning and development.

Environmental groups perceive that the Council has a focus on development and tourism rather
than nature conservation. They are more likely to work with other agencies than through the
Council. However, representatives from environmental groups had positive relationships with
individual Council officers. GCCC wants more positive relationships with environmental groups
based on mutual respect.

Direct relationships with schools are not seen as core business for Council. However, in the future
GCCC would like to develop partnerships with education providers to have a greater nature
conservation input into and influence with youth.

Representatives from the development industry have good individual relationships with Council
officers, but currently receive little relevant nature conservation information. There is an
opportunity for GCCC to bring development and conservation interests together and to find
representatives in the development industry who can champion nature conservation initiatives.

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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Individual Council officers have good working relationships with Catchment and CARE groups,
and such groups play an important role in community involvement in nature conservation activities.
There is a real opportunity for GCCC to enhance and support this network even further to
capitalise on the desire of 20 percent of the public for more direct involvement in nature
conservation activities.

There are currently only limited relationships between Council and tourism groups due to
uncertainty about ecotourism and organisational structural separation between nature conservation
and tourism. There is a real opportunity for Council to develop better relationships with the
tourism industry to get nature conservation messages to those visiting the region.

Council officers have a good working relationship with state and federal government agency
representatives, but there are real opportunities for GCCC to develop stronger linkages and
partnerships in achieving the nature conservation objectives in the South East Queensland Regional
Plan. GCCC should take a leadership role in nature conservation in the Gold Coast City region.

Eight core messages are recommended and reflect the importance of nature conservation, the Gold
Coast’s unique position with regard to nature conservation, the nature conservation activities of the
GCCC, ecological concepts of nature conservation, the benefits and uses of natural areas and the role
of indigenous people.
This project recommended actions that include the following immediate and short term actions of:
    • Organising workshops with other sections of Council to identify common objectives,
        activities and messages
    • Conducting face to face briefings with community groups, including environmental groups
        and resident associations
    • Increasing the knowledge and awareness of Councillors about nature conservation
        imperatives and activities through face-to-face briefings
    • Updating the website and producing one-page updates about nature conservation activities
    • Initiating partnerships with other relevant groups and agencies
    • Identifying and supporting champions for nature conservation




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
                                         2 Introduction

The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest City with a population of 475 000. The City
accommodates 1000 new residents per week and 4 million visitors per year. This puts substantial
pressure on the 14 000 square kilometres of City area and has required the Gold Coast City Council
(GCCC) to implement proactive measures to protect the significant natural environment such as
the World Heritage values of the hinterland to the west and the RAMSAR wetlands and beaches in
the east. More than 50 percent of the City is still covered in bushland, making it Australia’s most
bio-diverse city.

The GCCC’s Nature Conservation Strategy (NCS) was developed and endorsed in 1998 with the
aim of retaining the City’s biodiversity values and creating an ecologically sustainable city. The NCS
was developed with intensive consultation with the community and real benefits are currently being
seen by initiatives such as:

    •   Our Living City Gold Coast Planning Scheme
    •   Beaches to Bushland program
    •   Land for Wildlife
    •   Voluntary Conservation Agreements
    •   Open Space Preservation Levy (Land Acquisition Program)
    •   Nature Conservation database

The NCS recognises the need to preserve and manage the Gold Coast’s unique and diverse natural
environment that stretches from the sub-tropical forests of the mountains to the beaches and the
bay islands. However, there has been limited communication to-date of these initiatives and their
progress.

The communication that has been conducted has been done on a largely ad hoc basis without an
overall communication strategy responding to the perceptions, concerns and needs of Gold Coast
residents and others involved or concerned with nature conservation in the City.

For example, the Gold Coast City Council is characterised by a rapidly growing population and it is
expected that over the next 20 years the number of households in the City will increase by about 50
percent. The degree to which such growth impacts on the region’s nature conservation values
unless this is recognised and managed. Effective communication is an essential element of the
success of such management. This is recognised by the vision of the Gold Coast City Council’s
Corporate Plan 03-07:
                           “Naturally the world’s best place to be…because we
                           will create a city that is recognised internationally
                           by the quality, diversity and sustainability of its
                           lifestyle, economy and environment. The Gold
                           Coast’s future will be secure as Australia’s most
                           desirable place to live and favourite place to visit.”

Recognising this issue, the Gold Coast City Council sought to develop a Nature Conservation
Communication Strategy. This project forms the first important stage in developing such a strategy.




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
                                   3 Project Objectives
The aim of this project was to provide base-line data to inform the development of a Nature
Conservation Communication Strategy that:

    •   Describes the role of the GCCC in complementing the work of other organisations in
        nature conservation communication
    •   Raises awareness and appreciation by residents and visitors about the Gold Coast City’s
        nature conservation assets and programs
    •   Encourages involvement by groups and individuals in nature conservation programs and
        activities
    •   Ensures a high degree of community support for the Nature Conservation Strategy and its
        initiatives
    •   Provides accessible opportunities for information exchange about nature conservation
        issues




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
                                           4 Approach
The basis for the project is a 7-step approach for developing communication strategies:
   1. Define communication objectives
   2. Identify who to communicate with
   3. Determine desired relationships based on target groups and individuals perceptions,
        concerns and communication needs (information and involvement) and existing
        relationships
   4. Design key messages
   5. Choose communication activities/strategies
   6. Build in evaluation of communication activities
   7. Assign responsibilities and resources – who does what when – the Action Plan

This report provides the first four steps of a Nature Conservation Communication Strategy that
includes: objectives, priority groups and individuals, an understanding of the perceptions, concerns
and needs of those priority groups and individuals, current and desired relationships and suggested
key messages. Many data sources informed this report: a desktop review, a best-practice survey, a
telephone survey, a web-based survey, focus groups and interviews with key individuals.

Suggestions for communication strategies and activities for particular groups and individuals have
also been included from the Best Practice Survey and qualitative and quantitative studies. These
strategies and activities will support the GCCC in achieving the quality of relationship they desire
with priority individuals and groups.

A second stage of this project will be undertaken to develop these strategies, provide suggested
techniques for ongoing evaluation of the Communication Strategy and develop a six to 12-month
action plan for implementing the Communication Strategy.




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
                     5 Data Collection and Analysis Methods
5.1 DESKTOP REVIEW
A desktop review of documents, literature, websites and communication tools relevant to
developing the NCS communication strategy was conducted from September 2004 until the end
of May 2005. This included reviewing an estimated 118 items. These items covered the following
types of material:
    • GCCC’s structures, planning, policies, strategies, reports
    • Other relevant organisations’ policies, strategies, reports
    • GCCC’s current communication activities and products
    • Other organisations’ relevant communication activities and products
    • Theories, strategies and approaches to communication about nature conservation
    • Meeting notes
    • Media articles
    • Arts/theatre documents
    • Educational activities and information
    • Indigenous information

These documents were analysed with regard to:
   • communication objectives
   • groups and individuals to communicate with
   • perceptions, concerns and needs of target groups and individuals
   • key messages
   • communication strategies, activities and activities
   • new ideas and opportunities

The information from this analysis is included in the recommendations for the first four steps of
the NCS Communication Strategy.

5.2 SURVEYS
Telephone and web-based surveys were conducted to gather information on a range of attitudes,
values, opinions or preferences. These surveys generated base-line data that was quantitatively and
qualitatively analysed and also provided:
    • some ‘best practice’ principles and ideas for nature conservation communication
    • a demographic representation of Gold Coast residents
    • the opportunity for other groups and individuals, living, working or visiting the Gold Coast
         region to provide information to inform the strategy

5.2.1 Best practice survey
A web-based survey of largely open-ended questions was promoted to those involved in managing or
communicating about nature conservation during late 2004. We promoted this by using our national
and international email lists and the Gold Coast City Council’s (GCCC’s) contacts. We had 46
respondents to this survey representing:
    •   Environmental managers – 19
    •   Communication professionals (including those involved in community engagement,
        environmental education, editing, general communication and extension) – 18
    •   Scientists or researchers (environmental or cultural heritage) – 4


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
    •   Students – 2
    •   Tourism managers – 2
    •   Lecturer - 1

The purpose of this survey was to identify current ‘best practices’ in nature conservation
communication and novel ideas for achieving the objectives of nature conservation communication.
For full details, see Best Practice Survey report.


5.2.2 Telephone survey
A telephone survey was conducted with 505 residents across the Gold Coast Shire in early 2005. This
was conducted by an independent telephone survey company, I-View. The sample size of 505 was
considered to be adequate to ensure the statistical validity of the survey. No missing data was evident
in this data set. For full details, see Telephone Survey of Gold Coast Residents report.

5.2.3 Web-based survey
A web-based survey was designed by Econnect Communication and reviewed by Dr John Western
from the University of Queensland. The web-based survey was promoted to the Gold Coast
community and visitors through email, media promotion, advertisement and flyers over March-April
2005. The survey attracted 222 respondents, which was considered adequate to ensure the statistical
validity of the survey. However:
     1. The sample was found to depart from the demographics of the Gold Coast region as
         detailed in the 2001 Commonwealth Census in two ways:
              a. Women were substantially overrepresented in this sample.
              b. Tourists were substantially overrepresented in this sample.
     2. Subsequent analyses of survey items by demographic groupings revealed that these
         departures from Census norms did not exert a major impact on the results.
     3. Granted the moderate sample size, a number of demographic groupings did not have
         enough members to allow their inclusion in analyses of survey items by the following
         demographic groupings:
              a. All postcodes
              b. All ages <15 or >65
              c. Rural residents of the Gold Coast
              d. “Other” households
              e. Skilled tradespersons and manual workers
              f. Retired, unemployed, pensioner, and “other” employment groups.

For full details of the web-based survey, see the Web-based Survey of Gold Coast Residents and
Visitors report.

5.2.4 Analysis
Quantitative analysis was conducted to provide useful comparisons between demographic
information and responses to nature conservation issues. The quantitative data from the surveys was
analysed using statistical software by Dr Doug Maher from Queensland University of Technology.

Qualitative analyses were also conducted on the open-ended questions within the survey and to
better inform the quantitative findings where appropriate. The qualitative data from the surveys was
analysed by Econnect’s Dr Michelle Riedlinger who used content analysis of the major themes. The
‘best practice’ survey was analysed for major themes by Econnect’s Jenni Metcalfe.




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
This analysis provides useful information for the development of a NCS Communication Strategy
and base-line data for evaluating its effectiveness in the future.

5.3 FOCUS GROUPS AND INTERVIEWS

5.3.1 Focus groups
Econnect conducted focus groups with identified internal and external groups. Econnect used two
people in the focus groups they conducted. One moderated and the other recorded key
conversational themes in real time (by typing on to a laptop and recording on audio tape). Reports
of these focus groups discussions were provided to participants (by typing and tape) as summaries
of the discussions. These were then sent to participants within 48 hours of the discussion so that
they could verify or expand on points raised.

5.3.2 Interviews
Econnect conducted interviews with people unable to attend focus groups and with the elected
GCCC Councillors.

Interviews were conducted as a structured series of questions that followed the questions in the focus
group Moderator’s Guide for internal and external interviews. The interviews with Councillors were
conducted using a modified set of questions. All interviews were conducted in person or over the
phone.

5.3.2.1 Internal focus groups and interviews
Focus groups and interviews were held with 64 people employed by the GCCC, including 10
elected Councillors from January to May 2005.

Focus groups were conducted with the following:
   - Infrastructure Policy and Planners Group (e.g. representatives from Parks & Recreation,
        Infrastructure Planning, etc) 1 (2 people)
   - Infrastructure Policy and Planners Group 2 (5 people)
   - Natural Areas Management Unit (12 people)
   - Operations Managers (e.g. people from Gold Coast Water, Parks Services, Pest
        Management, Animal Management, Environmental Health Services, Community Services –
        Parks) (11 people)
   - Environmental Policy and Planners (e.g. people from Environmental Planning, Catchment
        Management, Parks & Recreation, Ecological & Hydrological Assessment) (13 people)
   - Support Managers (e.g. people from Publications, Corporate Communication, Social Policy
        and Tourism) (4 people)

Interviews were conducted with an individual representing each of these areas:
    - Capital Works
    - Engineering Services
    - Our Natural Gift DVD
    - Development Compliance
    - Indigenous Cultural Heritage
    - Environment Planning
    - Botanic Gardens

Interviews were conducted with 10 of the 14 elected GCCC Councillors.



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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
5.3.2.2 External focus groups and interviews
Seventy-three people associated with Gold Coast City participated in the qualitative data collection
from January to May 2005 (focus groups, meetings and interviews) for the study of external groups.

Focus groups and meetings were conducted with:
   - Conservation (8 people)
   - Government (4 people)
   - Recreation users (2 people)
   - Residential associations (12 people and 23 people)

Interviews (24) were conducted with:
    - Conservation groups (3 people)
    - Accommodation providers (1 person)
    - Development consultants (6 people)
    - Government (5 people)
    - Indigenous groups (2 people)
    - Tourism (3 people)
    - Universities (3 people)
    - Education (1 person)

5.3.3 Analysis
The external qualitative data produced 29 documents. These documents ranged in length from
between two and eight pages long.

The data in these documents were stored on computer and coded using QSR Nudist software.
Common themes were identified and then analysed for particular groups.

5.4 WORKSHOPS

Econnect conducted two formal workshops with invited GCCC staff on October 14 and December
6, 2004.

The objectives of the first workshop (Oct 14) were to:
   - Brief and get feedback on the communication project
   - Discuss objectives for the Nature Conservation Strategy (NCS) Communication Strategy
   - Identify key groups and individuals
   - Start the message design process
   - Discuss involvement of GCCC in the consultation project

The workshop was attended by 15 people and achieved most of the objectives listed above, except
for number 4.

The second workshop (Dec 6) aimed to:
   - Brief and get feedback on the results of the desktop review
   - Further discuss objectives for the NCS Communication strategy
   - Brief and get feedback about consultation mechanisms
   - Discuss internal communication needs with regard to the NCS
   - Look at future actions and timing



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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
This workshop was attended by 13 people (with a further 10 apologies from people who wanted to
come but were unable to). The objectives were achieved and the results of this workshop, in
particular, helped drive the consultation process.

Notes were taken from each workshop and circulated to participants for comments. These notes
were further analysed when considering the market research results for people internal to Council
and included in the desktop review.


    6 Communication Strategy Recommendations: The first 4 steps
The following recommendations bring together the analysis of all the data collected. The first four
recommendations are based around the first four steps of the recommended Communication
Strategy and suggestions are made about the fifth step.
The following recommendations also make some attempt to recognise the principles of community-
based social marketing as defined and described by Doug McKenzie-Mohr. His approach to
achieving behavioural and social change includes the following steps:
    Describing specific behavioural changes desired by specific community sectors
    Identifying barriers and benefits to achieving sustainable behaviours
    Using appropriate tools to achieve behavioural change: commitment, prompts, norms,
        communication, and incentives
    Removing existing barriers
    Designing, piloting and evaluating the community-based social marketing strategy
The following recommendations suggest some behavioural objectives, but generally do not identify
specific desired behavioural changes for specific community sectors. This is something GCCC will
need to determine in the second stage of this project. The following recommendations summarise
the barriers and opportunities for achieving communication objectives, but again do not provide
tailored information for specific behavioural objectives. The strategy and activities recommended
include ideas for achieving behavioural change, but are not directly targeted at specific behavioural
objectives.


6.1 COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES

Ten objectives are recommended under the overall headings of awareness, knowledge, attitudes and
behaviours:

6.1.1 Awareness
1. To raise awareness of the Gold Coast region’s natural assets and the importance of these assets
2. To raise awareness of GCCC’s nature conservation activities in the Gold Coast region

6.1.2 Knowledge
3. To increase knowledge and understanding of the benefits, value, importance and outcomes of
nature conservation activities
4. To share knowledge and information about nature conservation between individuals and groups
interested, involved or affected by nature conservation




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
6.1.3 Attitudes
5. To improve the nature conservation image of the Gold Coast
6. To increase positive attitudes towards the GCCC’s role in nature conservation

6.1.4 Behaviours
7. To better coordinate nature conservation activities within Council and between other relevant
agencies
8. To increase involvement and participation in nature conservation activities for identified
outcomes
9. To increase support for nature conservation activities
10. To build relationships and partnerships for planning and implementing nature conservation
activities

Performance indicators are provided for each of these objectives in Table 2, Appendix One. This
also includes an assessment of current performance, based on the market research data.

For objective 8, it will be important for the GCCC to set specific behavioural objectives for specific
groups. For example:
    •   To get developers to plant appropriate indigenous plants on their developments
    •   To increase the number of landholders participating in voluntary conservation agreements
    •   To increase the participation of Gold Coast schools in local rehabilitation projects
Once these specific behavioural objectives have been set, the principles of community-based social
marketing can be applied to assist transition from declared values to values in actions.
The barriers to achieving the communication objectives for nature conservation activities, which
emerged from the best practice survey and the consultation, are shown in Table 3, Appendix Two.
Suggestions for overcoming these barriers were found from the same sources and are also indicated
in Table 3, Appendix Two. These suggestions will be useful in the second stage of this project when
considering and choosing strategies and activities to achieve objectives (step 5).


6.2 GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS TO COMMUNICATE WITH

6.2.1 Internal
A number of groups within Council were identified as being important for internal communication
activities. It is recommended that GCCC’s Environmental Planning and Sustainable Development
section work with those involved, interested or affected by nature conservation activities to develop
communication opportunities.

The following sections within Council have been identified as important for nature conservation
activities and strategy communication:

Directly involved in nature conservation activities: Environmental Planning & Sustainable
Development, Natural Areas Management Unit, Catchment Management Unit, Domestic & Pest
Animal Management, Beaches & Waterways, Gold Coast Water, Beaches to Bushland, Waterwatch,
Expert Conservation Panel, Botanical Gardens

Indirectly involved in nature conservation activities: Urban Design & Heritage, Flood
Strategies & Waterway Planning, Strategic Planning and City Infrastructure, Business Support


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Branch, Implementation & Assessment Branch, Transport Planning Branch, Marketing &
Communications Unit, Parks Maintenance, Community Services, Engineering Services, City
Governance, Social Research, Economic Development, elected Councillors

6.2.2 External
The groups and individuals identified as important for external communication about nature
conservation activities can be categorised to assist in designing messages and choosing
communication activities and strategies. They are grouped according to their common relationship
with nature conservation activities as indicated in the following table.

Please note an organisation or group may fit into more than one category, depending on their role
concerning nature conservation activities.

Table 1. Categories of external groups and individuals important for communication

Category                     Groups
Users of areas with nature   Tourism, agriculture and related groups, developers and consultants,
conservation values          community, indigenous groups, education, Landcare groups, Catchment
                             Management groups, environment groups, recreational groups, fishing clubs
Participants in areas with   Other government organisations, NGO natural resource management groups
nature conservation          (NRM), research groups, agricultural and related groups, developers and
values                       consultants, community, indigenous groups, education, Landcare and
                             Catchment Management groups, environmental groups, other groups
Managers of areas with       Government organisations, NGO NRM managers, tourism, agricultural and
nature conservation          related groups, developers and consultants, indigenous groups, Catchment
values                       Management groups, landholders
Policy makers or             Government
regulators of areas with
nature conservation
values
Advisers and researchers     Research groups, education, professional associations
about nature conservation
Funders of nature            Government organisations, tourism, developers and consultants, business
conservation activities      community, community, private landholders
Broader community            Community, indigenous groups, education, progress and rate payers
                             associations, other community groups, environmental groups, recreational
                             groups, fishing clubs

6.2.3 Prioritisation
It is important to prioritise the groups and individuals that GCCC communicates with as, due to
resource constraints, it is impossible to communicate effectively with all groups and individuals all of
the time.

The following prioritisation is recommended, but it is also important that Council reviews this and
determines their own priorities according to specific objectives, effectiveness of communications and
available resources.

Must communicate with: Internal groups; Councillors; developers and consultants; Gold Coast
community (through community groups, indigenous groups and ratepayer and progress associations);
urban-rural landholders; large land managers and farmers; Gecko and other environmental groups;
schools; natural resource management groups; tourism interests; relevant State and Federal
government agencies.


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Should communicate with: Other users of nature conservation areas (recreational groups and
fishing groups); research groups; business community; other educational groups; and visitors to the
Gold Coast.


6.3A PERCEPTIONS, CONCERNS AND NEEDS OF PRIORITY GROUPS

The following information summarises the results of data gathering described earlier in this
document. This is further detailed in the tables shown in Appendix Three.

6.3a.1 Council officers
Perceptions and concerns
There were varied levels of support internally for Council’s approach to nature conservation. Those
with more involvement were more supportive and those with the least involvement showed the
least support, due primarily to a lack of information.

Most of the suggestions for improving the involvement of GCCC staff in nature conservation
activities revolved around the need to:
    •   Integrate and coordinate nature conservation with other plans, strategies and reporting
        mechanisms
    •   Develop strong whole-of-Council nature conservation policy that includes accompanying
        policy and compliance checks (i.e. due diligence to Council policy)
    •   Develop and increase resources for community-based activities
    •   Provide better information and maps to relevant groups
Needs
Council officers wanted to see better integration of NCS activities throughout Council.
Communication needs were:
   • 1-page summary of NCS in policy
   • liaison officer across directorates
   • nature conservation briefings that dealt with:
             o links to compliance
             o the planning scheme
             o community values
             o water-related activities
             o tightening of pre-approvals process
             o management plans for acquired sites

Those within Council prefer to get their information from email, rates notices, website, flyers,
intranet, environmental Council staff, flora and fauna maps and the internal telephone list.

6.3a.2 Councillors
Perceptions and concerns
Six of the Councillors gave qualified support for the Council’s approach to nature conservation, but
were still concerned about the Council’s continuing development focus, lack of nature conservation
land in some Divisions, lack of management of acquired land or their own lack of awareness of
activities. The rest of the Councillors supported the activities of the NCS.




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Six Councillors thought that GCCC was doing a good job at carrying out nature conservation
activities, but the other four interviewed thought the GCCC’s performance could be improved
through actions such as greater community awareness, implementing a schools program, developing
consistent messages for nature conservation and increasing re-vegetation activities.

Four Councillors thought they needed more information about the Council’s nature conservation
activities before being able to decide whether the NCS allowed relevant people to make informed
decisions.

Five of the Councillors interviewed were aware of the Land Acquisition Program and thought this
program provided the best opportunity for nature conservation. Three Councillors were aware of
the opportunities provided in the Planning Scheme for putting more focus on nature conservation
activities through the development application process.

The most supportive Councillors were those originally involved in developing the NCS.

Needs
Face-to-face updates on nature conservation activities:
    • land acquisition
    • management plans and strategies
    • good case studies and achievements
    • simple summaries
    • specific information as required

Councillors liked to get information mostly from face-to-face briefings, followed up with brief
updates or executive summaries. Two Councillors liked email and one liked brochures.

6.3a.3 Gold Coast Community
Perceptions and concerns
Awareness of the Gold Coast City Council’s nature conservation activities was low to moderate with
only 21.2 percent (107/505) of the telephone survey sample and 33.8 percent (75/202) of the web-
based survey sample reporting that they knew of these activities. However, given that only limited
communication has happened to-date about the conservation activities, this is probably a reasonable
starting point for more strategic communication.

When broken down by demographic grouping, no more than 33 percent of any one group reported
awareness of these activities. The most aware groups were:
   • those between the ages of 35-39 and 45-54 (telephone survey)
   • members of Gold Coast or non-Gold Coast conservation groups (web-based survey)
   • managers and professionals – compared to other occupations (web-based survey)
   • males more than females ( telephone survey and web-based survey)

Among the number of people (107/505) who expressed awareness of these nature conservation
activities in the telephone survey, approximately 50 percent (254/505) reported awareness of one or
all of the following activities: land purchases, protecting remnant vegetation, and rehabilitation of
degraded areas. However, only approximately one quarter (125/505) reported awareness of
partnership and/or sustainable land use planning activities.

The most common activities noted by web-based survey participants were voluntary conservation
agreements, Land for Wildlife, Bushcare, Coastcare, Landcare, Waterwatch and the land acquisition
program.

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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
The telephone survey participants were asked to define nature conservation in an open-ended
question. The most common answers were:
    • looking after the world (27.7 percent)
    • protecting native and endangered animals (14.8 percent)
    • preserving habitat (9.1 percent)
    • managing development (8 percent)
    • caring for natural resources (6 percent)
    • water resources (5.1 percent)
    • for the future (4 percent)
    • more parks (3.9 percent)

Interestingly no one specifically mentioned the word ‘biodiversity’.

The vast majority of both telephone (Mean = 8.39 on 12 point rating scale) and web-based survey
respondents (97.3 percent) rated the importance of nature conservation very highly. This was
particularly true for:
    • Women more so than men (telephone survey)
    • Members of environment groups, no matter where they were situated (web-based survey)

The following groups rated the importance of nature conservation less than other groups:
   • students (telephone survey)
   • young people below age of 26 (telephone and web-based survey)

Web-based survey participants also indicated that they believed the Gold Coast had significant
conservation areas, although this was not a strongly held belief for most people. While there were a
number of demographic variables (age, employment, occupation, and membership of Gold Coast
environmental groups) which affected peoples’ responses to this item, in no case was this effect
substantial.

Over three quarters of web-based survey respondents thought that the Gold Coast didn’t have
enough natural areas. The main demographic effect observed here was that members of Gold Coast
environmental groups were much more adamant that there were not enough natural areas than were
non-members.

In the telephone survey, about half of the respondents (253/505) gave a negative rating to the Gold
Coast’s nature conservation image. Only one quarter of the sample gave a positive rating to the Gold
Coast’s nature conservation image. However, one quarter of the sample responded either “don’t
know” or “other” to this item. There were no substantial demographic influences on the telephone
or the web-based survey respondents’ ratings the Gold Coast’s nature conservation image.

The web-based survey provided a slightly more positive view of the Gold Coast’s conservation
image, with the following general trends:
        a) There was a slightly negative opinion on whether the Gold Coast’s nature conservation
             areas have a high profile, with tourists being more likely than residents to believe that
             these areas had a high profile
        b) Participants generally did not believe that the Gold Coast was just about beaches and
             skyscrapers, with only a little over one third (84/222) of the sample supporting this view
        c) The sample generally did not believe that the Gold Coast was Australia’s most bio-
             diverse city, with only one third of the sample supporting this view


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
The telephone survey respondents’ ratings of the Gold Coast Council’s effectiveness in carrying out
nature conservation activities were generally only moderate (means around five on a 10-point scale).
Ratings related to ensuring sustainable land use planning exhibited marked separation into two
distinct groups, with one set of respondents giving particularly low ratings. This probably reflects
concerns about development activities (refer to next section).

The web-based survey respondents rated the Council’s effectiveness at carrying out nature
conservation activities in a similar way to the telephone survey respondents. The sample has a neutral
attitude towards the performance of the Gold Coast City Council in terms of its management of
natural areas, with almost 80 percent of the sample giving one of the two middle ratings. There were
no meaningful demographic effects evident with regard to the Council’s performance in this area.

Those aware of the Council’s activities held generally neutral views on the Council’s performance in
all of the specific areas listed except ensuring more sustainable land-use planning and development.
Their concern about development arises at several points in the survey data.

Reflecting a lack of awareness about Council activities, both samples of the telephone and web-based
survey were strongly critical of Council’s performance in terms of the global questions regarding
whether the Council was doing enough to protect nature conservation areas. In both cases, over 80
percent of the sample reported negative attitudes towards the Council’s performance. The sample
presented a slightly less negative opinion on whether the Council takes nature conservation seriously.

The concerns of web-based survey and telephone survey respondents were largely about the threats
to nature conservation on the Gold Coast.

Respondents to both surveys listed development and related issues as the dominant threat to Gold
Coast conservation. Population growth rate was specifically mentioned by web-based survey
participants as a key threat. Pollution was seen as major threat by telephone survey participants.

Analysis of threats by demographic groups from the telephone survey revealed the following:
    •   Rate of development was primarily seen as a threat by those in the age ranges (30-54 years)
        and household structures typically of people who were paying a mortgage and raising a
        family
    •   Women were twice as likely as men to view land clearing as a threat
    •   The extent to which pollution was seen as a threat increased substantially with increasing
        age; this age effect was also reflected in the household structure data
Surprisingly, tourism was not seen as a major threat by respondents to either survey. However, this
may indicate that participants do not attribute excess development that they are concerned about
directly to the prominence of the Gold Coast as a tourist destination.

Global issues like loss of biodiversity and global warming were also reported at very low frequencies
by respondents to both surveys.

It is of concern that most of the people who responded to the web-based or telephone surveys did
not think loss of “biodiversity” was a significant threat to nature conservation. However, this could
be due to a lack of understanding about what biodiversity is, particularly given their concern about
rate of development and tree clearing.



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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Favourite natural areas
Web-based survey respondents were asked about their favourite natural areas with the following
trends emerging:
    • Beaches were by far the most popular natural areas
    • National parks were also popular, particularly amongst respondents’ second and third
        choices of favourite area
    • Respondents generally reported a reducing frequency of visiting their second and third
        favourite areas compared to their frequency of visiting their first choice area
    • People tended to report visiting beaches once a week and national parks several times a
        year

Use of natural areas
Telephone and web-based survey respondents were asked to identify why they go to natural areas
with the following responses:
             a. Bushwalking was the most popular first choice reason to go to natural areas (35
                 percent for web-based survey respondents, 37.6 percent for telephone survey
                 respondents)
             b. Sightseeing, swimming, and picnicking (especially by families with children) were
                 also prominent reasons for visiting natural areas (between 10 percent and 26 percent
                 for both telephone and web-based survey respondents)
             c. A preference for bushwalking over swimming, etc., was strongest amongst members
                 of non-Gold Coast environmental groups for web-based survey participants
             d. Where people did report using natural areas in the web-based survey they were more
                 likely to do this frequently rather than infrequently

Information needs
Only 16 percent of telephone survey respondents reported that they did not want to receive any
information about nature conservation activities. There was no clear preferred method by which
telephone survey respondents reported that they did want to receive nature conservation
information, however:
     • 25 percent favoured council newsletters
     • Between 10 percent and 16 percent favoured brochures, email, local newspapers, or TV

All the remaining means of receiving nature conservation information received very little support
except the option “other”, which was the most strongly endorsed option of all (29.3 percent). 77.7
percent of the “other’ responses (or 22.7 percent of the total sample) requested information by direct
mail.

Web-based survey respondents said they currently gained information from:
   • Brochures, tourist information, web sites, local newspapers, and word-of-mouth; all had a
       high frequency of use (>40 percent)
   • Council newsletters, conservation groups, TV, and the QPWS had a moderate frequency of
       use (20-30 percent)
   • Displays, email, other newspapers, radio, “other” had a low frequency of use (<15 percent)

When asked about preferred ways to receive information in the future, web-based survey
respondents expressed:
    • A very strong desire to receive more information via displays and email
    • A moderately strong desire to receive more information from conservation groups and non-
       local newspapers


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
    •   A strong desire to receive less information via local newspapers and word-of-mouth
    •   Moderately strong desires to receive more information via TV and the QPWS

Web-based survey respondents expressed at least a moderate desire (>25 percent) to receive all the
types of information listed except “opportunities to partner council” and “other”. Two thirds of the
sample wanted information on where Gold Coast nature conservation areas were located.

While all survey respondents indicated a preference for newsletters, displays, email and direct mail, it
is still important to ensure written materials are provided for specific purposes and targeted at clearly
identified audiences.

Members of Residents’ Associations accessed information through local newspapers, direct contact
with Council officers and the rates books and notices, rather than through the website.

Involvement needs
A significant proportion of respondents to both surveys did not want to be involved in nature
conservation activities (30 percent of web-based survey respondents and 50 percent of telephone
survey respondents). The following trends emerged:

    •   One fifth of the telephone survey respondents indicated they would like to participate in
        local rehabilitation activities; this is a significant section of the community interested in
        volunteer activities

    •   People responding to the web-based survey were much more likely to want to be involved
        in the two more passive activities (added to a mailing list or consulted about policies) then
        the most active option (volunteer for local rehabilitation activities), however this was not
        the case for the telephone survey participants with few wanting to be consulted or to have
        their name on mailing lists

    •   The desire of the web-based survey participants to be consulted also showed up in
        responses to another question, where over half the sample reported that they would like to
        be added to a consultation list

6.3a.4 Environmental groups
Perceptions and concerns
Awareness of NCS activities focussed on the development of the NCS or specific areas e.g. Pimpama
Wetland Conservation Area, Wongawallen area, Apple Tree Flats, the areas near Springbrook
National Park and the Coombabah conservation area. The land acquisition program was viewed
positively but there were problems with the Voluntary Conservation Agreements. These were not
perceived to be inclusive enough to involve smaller landholders who wished to participate.

Some groups indicated that they had heard little since the time when the NCS was developed. There
was very limited support for the GCCC’s approach due to a number of perceived factors:
        • no NCS in the planning scheme
        • continuing focus on development and tourism
        • no NCS information

The least supportive were members of environmental groups located in the hinterland areas.

Needs
Communication needs by environment groups included:

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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
    •   Briefings by Council on development and links to planning scheme
    •   Involvement in development decisions and outcomes from involvement
    •   Better access to local level information
    •   Information on Council approaches to best practice in sustainable development

6.3a.5 Schools
Perceptions and concerns
The report from a workshop with teachers in the Gold Coast area (included in the Desktop Review)
indicated that the majority of teachers were particularly interested in the environment and were likely
to use the Council’s website monthly to prepare lessons. Their suggestions for improvements to the
website included:
• the inclusion of hard copy activities because not all schools could give entire classes access to
    computers
• the need for facilities on the Council website for both teachers and students
• the importance of activities being categorised by year level, subjects and then matched to the
    curriculum/key learning outcomes

Teachers believed that students need information and activities on:
• how to be responsible citizens
• awareness of environmental, economic and cultural issues affecting the community
• how a school can become involved in local community services

There was conflicting information on whether GCCC’s website was easy to use – the survey said
“yes”, focus groups said, “no”.

Needs
Discussions with teachers over marketing indicated that a hard copy brochure left with staff and a
web presentation at staff meetings (held once a term with other schools) would be the most effective
way to introduce teachers to the Council educational programs available.

More programs aimed at high school students including Council careers were also suggested.

6.3a.6 Developers and Development Consultants
Perceptions and concerns
Developers and consultants expressed limited or no awareness of the NCS unless they were directly
involved with a particular site. They attributed this lack of awareness to no communication about
the NCS, no relevance to their work, no understanding of NCS objectives, jargon and competing
priorities.

They were most aware when NCS impacted directly on work, such as development on or near areas
of natural vegetation.

The most supportive were those aware of the Land Acquisition Program and voluntary activities
but did not relate these activities to the NCS.

Developer consultants were primarily aware of the strategy through their work, particularly the
legislative components associated with the Planning Scheme. For example:

                 “I refer to it when I’m doing development applications for
                 clients so when there is a flag that comes up – if it involves an


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
                 area of natural vegetation I refer to that strategy – I check out
                 Council’s policies for that area”.

Needs
Members of these groups only wanted information and involvement in work-related activities
including:
     • community-based local projects
     • nature conservation links to the planning scheme
     • uses of green levy
     • better searchable information and Council contacts for local level information
     • best practice land management activities – achieving no net loss

Council briefings to the Urban Development Industry Association would be welcome, involving
updates on activities with concrete examples.

6.3a.7 Natural Resource Management groups
Perceptions and concerns
Natural resource management groups (Landcare, Bushcare etc.) are a priority group for nature
conservation communication and the GCCC has developed good working relationships with these
groups. However, there are many other NRM groups that do not work with Council.

Needs
Face-to-face communication and newsletters providing information on sustainable development
best practice and potential partnerships are required.

6.3a.8 Tourism groups
Perceptions and concerns
Tourism operators had little or no awareness of nature conservation activities on the Gold Coast.
This was mostly due to the fact that the NCS was perceived to have no relevance to their role, or
because they had no understanding of the objectives. Tourism groups were the least likely to
support nature conservation activities due to a lack of information or because of uncertainty over
recreational issues associated with acquired land.

Needs
Tourism groups require information on:
   • nature conservation links to tourism/recreation and the economy
   • uses of green levy
   • ecotourism opportunities

They also requested involvement in tourism-focussed activities e.g. recreation induction programs
and ecotourism working groups

6.3a.9 State and Federal government agencies
Perceptions and awareness
State and federal government agency personnel were most aware of nature conservation activities
related to their job focus:
     • the land acquisition program
     • Voluntary Conservation Agreements
     • Land for Wildlife
     • CARE programs

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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
    •   Planning Scheme
    •   flora and fauna mapping
    •   native species protection

Members of these groups gave qualified support for GCCC’s approach to nature conservation due
to a perceived:
     • lack of clear messages and conflicting priorities within Council
     • lack of opportunities for community involvement outside landholder activities
     • focus by Council on development

Some people also indicated that they got good information from environmental groups that
supplemented information from GCCC. Some believed the image of nature conservation on the
Gold Coast is improving, forming this opinion through their work with Council officers.

Needs
Information on:
    • Nature Conservation Strategy links to Planning Scheme
    • overview of NCS
    • local level information
    • useful nature conservation maps detailing acquired land etc
    • a jointly run Visitor’s Centre

6.3B CURRENT AND DESIRED RELATIONSHIPS
The following summarises the current relationship that those involved in the Council’s nature
conservation activities have with priority groups and individuals. It also recommends how these
relationships might be improved or maintained through ‘desired relationships’ and suggests methods
for moving towards such desired relationships.

6.3b.1 Council officers

GCCC’s current relationship
There are fragmented and ad hoc relationships between those involved directly or indirectly with
strategic and on-ground nature conservation activities within Council.

GCCC’s desired relationship
There is an open and accessible exchange of information and knowledge through direct working
relationships of respect and trust. A top-down recognition of the underpinning importance of
nature conservation to all GCCC activities is also nurtured.

Suggested methods
   • Ensuring recognition of conservation outcomes in all Council documents
   • Providing the support and resources to staff to make nature conservation priorities
      applicable on the ground in day-to-day GCCC activities
   • Face-to-face interaction to develop a collective recognition of the underpinning of the
      importance of nature conservation for the City, delivered through integrated activities that
      enhance and maintain conservation City-wide
   • Ensuring that corporate environmental responsibilities are reflected through key
      accountabilities in all relevant position descriptions
   • Including elements of the NCS in GCCC staff induction program


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
    •   Holding internal seminars on innovative/best practice in nature conservation

6.3b.2 Councillors

GCCC current relationship
Some Councillors are supportive of nature conservation whilst others are either less supportive or
unaware of Council initiatives. GCCC nature conservation staff have variable relationships with
Councillors with respect to nature conservation.

GCCC desired relationship
Councillors are encouraged and supported as champions for nature conservation activities in their
own Division, with nature conservation activities being relevant to them and being delivered across
whole of Council.

Suggested methods
   • Nature conservation articles in Council newsletters, including stories about nature
      conservation initiatives and successes at the local level
   • Making nature conservation applicable to local priorities and the priorities of each Division
      e.g. location of acquired land and what is significant
   • Communication of intentions and management of community expectations
   • Face-to-face briefings with Councillors on existing and new programs
   • Integration of messages through advisory committees and standing committees

6.3b.3 Gold Coast Community

GCCC’s current relationship
Most of the public have only an indirect relationship with the GCCC and those involved in nature
conservation activities. However, the public are very supportive of nature conservation even though
they perceive Council’s role in conservation activities negatively. This was particularly true given
their concerns about the rate of development on the Coast.

The community’s most direct access to GCCC nature conservation is through their local park or
beaches. Parks and beaches vary in condition, which influences perceptions of Council’s
commitment to nature conservation.

GCCC’s desired relationship
An open and accountable relationship with the community about nature conservation activities. A
community encouraged, engaged and involved to drive nature conservation initiatives on the Gold
Coast that ensure that the GCCC optimises nature conservation outcomes with the resources
available.

Suggested methods
   • Provide opportunities for greater involvement in nature conservation activities, including
      activities in beaches, local parks and nature conservation areas
   • Develop models of public-private partnerships to involve community in nature
      conservation activities
   • Recognise role and links to beaches and local parks in nature conservation messages
   • Increase positive good news stories and updates in the media
   • Work with the community to identify assets that need to be protected


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    •   Brief community on nature conservation activities and issues through resident associations
        meetings and other gatherings in conjunction with organisations and groups such as
        Griffith University and NRM groups
    •   Provide certainty to allow community to safely commit time and effort

6.3b.4 Environmental groups

GCCC’s current relationship
The relationship between GCCC and environmental groups is poor due to Council’s perceived
focus on development and tourism, lack of information, and a perceived lack of Council respect for
environmental groups in past dealings.

In relation to Planning Scheme, environmental groups currently work through State channels or
lobby the GCCC when necessary. Working with individual Council staff was perceived positively
However, these Council officers were not perceived to be able to influence Council’s approach to
land use planning, the primary concern of these groups.

GCCC desired relationship
Engage in an open and accessible exchange of objective information and opinions through direct
working relationships that value the views and inputs of environmental groups, Council officers and
elected representatives. Such direct relationships reflect support and respect for each other.

Suggested methods
   • Face-to-face briefings by relevant Council staff at environmental meetings
   • Providing the means to make Gold Coast nature conservation materials
      accessible to the public

6.3b.5 Schools

GCCC current relationship
Some GCCC officers have a direct relationship with schools, but this is not uniform across Council.
Schools often request GCCC staff to visit and talk to children, however, GCCC staff can be
reluctant to take this on because of time constraints and the fact once they are “branded” as a
person who goes out to schools they are inundated with requests that they can not meet. Council
officers believed it was essential for GCCC to have direct links with school children but did not
perceive this to be recognised in their job description. School visits are not acknowledged as
Council core business.

GCCC desired relationship
GCCC wants to develop better and more coordinated relationships with schools in partnership with
education providers and others to create stewardship, an appreciation and understanding of the
land, pride in and involvement in nature conservation activities.

Suggested methods
   • Work with partner agencies on a jointly resourced nature conservation program targeted at
      schools and fitting with curricula needs
   • Work with Fleays, Currumbin Sanctuary, Sea World, Waterwise to develop common
      activities and messages in work with school children.
   • Work with P&Cs and groundsman – on-ground work at schools



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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
6.3b.6 Developers and development consultants

GCCC current relationship
Developers and development consultants have good dealings with individual Council officers
regarding nature conservation. Although receiving little relevant or useful information from the
Nature Conservation Strategy, developers and consultants thought Council were doing a reasonable
job with nature conservation.

GCCC desired relationship
Council wants to lead the way in promoting better links between conservation and development
interests. GCCC wants to maintain positive working relationships with the development industry,
emphasising the mutual benefits and value of nature conservation activities.

Suggested methods
   • Council to provide certainty to developers and development consultants in relationship to
      the Planning Scheme e.g. location of environmental corridors
   • Encourage Planners in Council to be proactive in their support for nature conservation
      activities
   • Communicate (through industry channels such as UDIA briefings) about the Planning
      Scheme and best practice in sustainable development
   • Identify and work with champions in the development industry who can demonstrate
      biodiversity-friendly practices
   • Introduce relevant reports in conjunction with other regional organisations
   • Demonstrate the value of biodiversity-friendly practices

6.3b.7 Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups

GCCC current relationship
Individual Council officers have fair to good working relationships with CARE groups and
Catchment groups. NRM groups are also perceived by Council as a good mechanism for increasing
community involvement in nature conservation activities.

GCCC desired relationship
The GCCC wants to maintain and further develop strong partnerships with NRM groups to work
with community members and to assist Council in moving forward with volunteer involvement in
nature conservation activities.

Suggested methods
   • Examine the service delivery of NRM programs and integrate and expand service delivery
      to groups to enhance support and enthusiasm
   • Document benefits of using these groups and why more needs to be done
   • Identify other NRM groups and coordinate fragmented efforts
   • Assist in the prioritisation of funding for nature conservation activities
   • Facilitate activities across multiple agencies to assist NRM groups




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
6.3b.8 Tourism groups

GCCC current relationship
GCCC relationships with tourism operators were limited with respect to nature conservation due to
a lack of perceived relevance of the nature conservation activities to tourism operators’ core
business and uncertainty regarding sites for ecotourism.

GCCC desired relationship
Council desires a better relationship with the tourism industry where opportunities are created to
disseminate nature conservation messages to tourists and residents, particularly youth.

Suggested methods
   • Work with theme parks to raise local awareness
   • Provide useful nature conservation information to tourism operators
   • Develop an ecotourism reference group
   • Develop stronger linkages with GCCC Tourism

6.3b.9 State and Federal government agencies

GCCC current relationship
Council officers have good working relationships with members of state and federal government
agencies. However, these agencies would like to see Council take the lead to develop a more
coordinated approach to nature conservation across agencies.

GCCC desired relationship
Council leads the way in brokering and developing strong relationships with agencies and realising a
shared vision for sustainable land use and management aligned with the SEQ Regional Plan.

Suggested methods
   • Develop opportunities for greater cooperation and management of common messages
      across government agencies, using the South East Queensland Regional Plan as a driver
   • Take a leadership role in commitment to cross-agency partnerships
   • Broker stronger partnerships for integrated sustainability of land-based asset management,
      including research partnerships


6.4 KEY MESSAGES

Participants from all groups suggested nature conservation links to water activities as a key message
for nature conservation on the Gold Coast.
The following messages are recommended as overall core messages to incorporate in communication
with any sector of the community. All communication products and activities should be assessed to
ensure they incorporate at least some of these messages and that any other messages do not conflict
with these core messages.
The core messages for the Gold Coast to communicate across all groups are:




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
    1. The GCCC’s nature conservation activities are preserving natural areas for future
       generations; this includes protecting unique and endangered species and World Heritage
       Areas of the Gold Coast
    2. The Gold Coast City is Australia’s most biodiverse city – including wide areas of natural
       areas incorporating a diversity of habitats and animal and plant species
    3. The ‘Green-Levy’ is helping to acquire and manage the Gold Coast’s natural areas and is a
       small price to pay for protecting our natural environment (8 cents/day/ratepayer)
    4. GCCC’s nature conservation plans, policies and activities reflect the City’s broad
       environmental, economic and social aspirations and seek to provide a balance between these
       sometimes competing outcomes (especially between conservation and development)
    5. Effective nature conservation of our wildlife relies on having a mix of habitats and natural
       areas that are linked together
    6. The Gold Coast’s protected natural areas are available for a mix of uses by people, but some
       of these areas need to have limited or no human access to protect fragile habitats or
       endangered species
    7. Indigenous people have a special relationship with and responsibility for the land and the
       Council recognises and respects this and urges the wider community to do the same
    8. Nature conservation activities deliver economic and social benefits to the community,
       including protecting the quality of our water


6.5 COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES AND ACTIVITIES

Appendix Four suggests 16 overall communication strategies, based on what people said they
needed during the consultation as well as best practice principles determined during that survey.

The 16 strategies recommended are: integrated partnerships, network management, network
support, awareness-raising through media, message design, coordination of information,
publications, website development, community and social-based marketing, personal information-
sharing, education, consultation and feedback, briefing Councillors and other influential people,
interpretation strategy, links with Gold Coast arts community, and communication skills training.

It is especially recommended that GCCC develop partnerships to deliver communication about
nature conservation activities.

The GCCC needs to complete the final three steps of the Nature Conservation Communication
Strategy that choose strategies and activities, build in evaluation and include a six to 12 month
action plan.

The strategies and activities chosen by GCCC need to reflect available resources and skills to
implement them. However, available resources are used effectively when:
    •   Partnerships are formed with relevant groups in and outside Council
    •   Networks are developed or maintained
    •   Council input adds value to existing communication mechanisms (by Council or partner
        groups)




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
    •   Duplication of activities is avoided by assessing, coordinating and integrating existing
        activities within and outside Council
    •   Support and advice is gained from Council’s corporate marketing and communication
        personnel
The consultation in this project indicated that the following existing GCCC communication strategies
were at least to some degree successful:
    •   Environment e-newsletter
    •   Information sent with Council ratepayers notices – direct mail
    •   Understorey newsletter
    •   Screensavers used internally with natural area images
This project did not have a mandate to recommend specific strategies and activities and therefore did
not test the effectiveness of Council’s other existing mechanisms. In some cases they have not been
widely distributed (e.g. Our Natural Gift video, brochures). They were also not mentioned by those
involved in the consultation, which means they have limited, if any, effectiveness. However, a
number of people referred favourably to the Gold Coast Water’s Water Futures Engagement Strategy
or its initiatives and it is worth referring further to this strategy.
The best practice survey respondents were also asked to identify innovative and new approaches to
nature conservation communication. Some of the more interesting ideas are listed in the box below.


Innovative approaches to nature conservation communication
Big Answers to Big Questions is an extensive public program about water, heritage landscapes and
genetically modified organisms to be held at the Royal Botanic Gardens. BABQ aims to present new
perspectives and give everyone the chance to contribute to informed debate.

The Brisbane City Council runs a Bush Neighbour Program, which focuses on reserve neighbours.
Material for this program involves the Bush Neighbour Kit complimentary displays and a school
program. Maroochy Shire Council has a public participation program (MPPP). Most projects are
required to undertake a MPPP plan. This aims to identify the various participation tasks that will be
conducted for a project and plan out the details of each task.


In South Africa, there has been some interesting and innovative use of science theatre to
communicate to communities about the plight of endangered animals, such as the black rhino and
how they suffer at the hands of poachers. Street theatre is also used.


Email list VOBUpdate - see http://www.communitywebs.org/BandicootValley. It is a community-
led, peer-to-peer email discussion list with about 125 subscribers, which is used to announce
working bees and news snippets to the local group.


Web portals - for any sized group or organisation to easily input information onto a website, which
can be accessed by others via passwords. Web portals do not require a webmaster and allow
important information on case studies, research etc to get out to a much wider group without the
cost of printing and advertising.


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
The Johnstone Shire Council produced a handbook for new landholders moving to the district
giving them practical, useful information about living in the tropics with a few conservation tips. It is
handed out by the Council and real estate agents.


6.5.1 Taking a leadership role in nature conservation
One of the most important strategies for the Council to consider is the first strategy suggestion:
Integrated partnerships. This strategy is also important for considering relevant linkages to other
identified programs and strategies.
The GCCC needs to take a leadership role in coordinating government agency involvement
in nature conservation in the region at all levels.

For example, there are real opportunities to work with government agencies such as Queensland
National Parks and Wildlife Service to develop a Visitors Centre for Gold Coast nature conservation.
This would provide a purpose-built resource centre for Gold Coast nature conservation materials
that are accessible to residents and community groups.

It will be important for GCCC to identify and work with all Gold Coast natural resource
management groups in partnership to encourage resident involvement in volunteer nature
conservation activities.

This project has also identified opportunities for the Council to work closely with education
providers, ecotourism operators and schools to develop common messages, materials and activities
for young people living on the Gold Coast.

GCCC should identify champions in the development industry and work with them to promote best
practice in sustainable development.

A number of opportunities for linking in with existing activities or initiatives were identified by
groups like Yugambeh indigenous museum, Gecko and natural resource management groups. The
best practice survey identified examples of cooperative partnerships that illustrated successful
examples. Most of the examples included partnerships between various government agencies,
community groups and sometimes business interests. Two examples are provided in the boxes
below. These are the sorts of partnerships GCCC should seek to develop as one of its major
communication initiatives.


Best practice partnership for understanding and species restoration
The Katarapko Community Action Group formed in 1997 to understand the Katarapko Island
environment and work towards species restoration. Partners include Bookmark Biosphere,
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Primary Industries and Resources of SA,
Loxton Local Action Planning, Loxton and Waikerie District Council, Loxton service clubs, Lion,
Rotary and Apex and a number of community volunteers. Students from the local Loxton High
School study the Katarapko Island environment with help from the community action group. The
major activity is Katarapko week in May each year. This involves around 100 students, up to 20
teachers and about 15 environmental experts who volunteer their time.


Best practice partnership for community awareness



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The Central Queensland Healthy Waterways program, a community awareness undertaking initiated
by the Coastal CRC and the Fitzroy Basin Association, involves a partnership of three local councils
(Livingstone, Rockhampton and Gladstone councils), industry groups (cotton growers and
irrigators), a property developer, landcare groups, GBRMPA and others. Partners are involved in
developing the approach for the TV awareness campaign, approval of story suggestions,
development of an awards program in 2005 and other awareness products. Some partners sponsor
the campaign. Outcomes have been a series of TV awareness ads broadcast from both
Rockhampton and Mackay. This community awareness program has been researched by surveys and
assessed as successful.




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
                                    7 Recommendations
A number of recommended actions arise from this project. These actions build directly from the
activities of this project as well as initiatives discussed with Council staff involved in the project.

Recommendations are separated into immediate, short-term, medium-term and long-term actions.

7.1 Immediate actions (within 3 months)
   • Provide report to Council officers prior to wider information release
   • Provide feedback on the results of this project through a program of presentations, email
      correspondence and web-based reports to participants in the consultation and other
      relevant groups and individuals
   • Brief Mayor and Councillors on report findings through face-to-face briefings and relevant
      Committees
   • Produce a one-page summary on nature conservation achievements and activities for
      Council staff and community groups
   • Update all nature conservation material on the web site
   • Plan a program of meetings with environment-involved sections across Council to identify
      common objectives, activities and agreed messages (e.g. about development and
      conservation)
   • Plan a program of face-to-face briefings with community groups such as environmental
      groups and resident associations

7.2 Short-term (in next 6 months)
   • Identify existing networks and pathways for communication and foster integration of
       internal nature conservation communication activities (shared outcomes)
   • Upgrade the e-newsletter and commence distribution of nature conservation updates
   • Commence on-going program of dialogue with Mayor and Councillors regarding
       environmental agenda (through personal briefings and presentations)
   • Develop and commence nature conservation related forums (e.g. workshops, lunchtime
       seminars etc) and disseminate information to encourage engagement to assist development
       of common messages across GCCC environmental activities and responsibilities
   • Initiate delivery of the program of face-to-face briefings with community groups such as
       environmental groups and resident associations
   • Develop integrated internal and external partnerships with defined roles and responsibilities
       to communicate clear and consistent environmental message/s
   • Identify an environmental spokesperson/champion for nature conservation/environment
       based on Council’s media contact guidelines
   • Develop budget bids based on future priority communication objectives

7.3 Medium-term (in next 12 months)
  • Complete the final three steps of this Communication Strategy – choose communication
     strategies and activities, build in evaluation processes and develop a resourced action plan
     (the latter to be reviewed every 12 months)
  • Set future performance targets for nature conservation communication activities and plan
     future evaluations to determine their success and required refinements (as per step 6 of the
     Communication Strategy)




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
   •   Review processes to ensure publicly available Council documents reflect common nature
       conservation messages (e.g. intended Nature Conservation Strategy outcomes are included
       within Planning Scheme initiatives, regulation, compliance and enforcement messages)
   •   Identify opportunities to further integrate communication of nature conservation activities
       across institutional arrangements within GCCC
   •   Capitalise on the desire of 50 percent of the community to be consulted – by establishing
       mechanisms (e.g. a community reference group) for ongoing consultation about nature
       conservation issues (e.g. through surveys, focus groups and workshops; possibly using
       volunteers from the web survey as an initial group)
   •   Develop a long-term strategy for community service and media announcements
   •   Continue delivery of the program of face-to-face briefings with community groups such as
       environmental groups and resident associations
   •   Identify and publicise opportunities for engagement to capitalise on the desire by 20 percent
       of the community for more direct involvement in nature conservation
   •   Include Nature Conservation areas in a coordinated interpretative strategy (including
       signage) across Council
   •   Identify behavioural change objectives and develop (and if resourced, start to implement)
       community-based social marketing strategies (note: this will require additional barrier and
       benefit identification research work)
   •   Develop and encourage a single clear and consistent overarching message from the
       Mayor/Councillors and the GCCC on environmental issues (especially in relation to
       development issues)
   •   Continue to develop integrated internal and external partnerships with defined roles and
       responsibilities to communicate clear and consistent environmental message/s
   •   Further interrogate the consultation data to collate information helpful for the review of the
       Nature Conservation Strategy

7.4 Long-term (in next 3 years)
  • Continue roll-out of communication strategy based projects
  • Undertake quantitative and qualitative survey work, similar to the methods used in this
      project, to evaluate performance and inform refinement of future strategies




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                             Appendix One: Performance indicators

Performance indicators are provided for measuring future performance against recommended
Communication Strategy objectives. The baseline information or ‘current performance’ has been
determined by this project’s data collection and analysis. Our explanation of performance levels are
shown in the following table.

Table 1. Explanation of performance levels

Performance level       %                Example
Very low                <15%             Only 10% awareness about …
Low                     < 40%            Less than 40% indicating support for…
Moderate                < 65%            40 % or more are aware of…
High                    < 90%            More than 65% (but less than 90%) indicating a positive view
                                         of…
Very high               > 90%            Over 90% indicated it was mostly or very relevant…

The following table outlines recommended communication objectives, performance indicators and
an assessment of the current performance (baseline data).

Table 2. Communication objectives and targets

Recommended                    Performance indicator             Current performance
objective
Awareness
1. To raise awareness of       Level of awareness of GCCC’s      Low to moderate awareness by
GCCC’s nature                  nature conservation activities    Councillors and groups within GCCC not
conservation activities in                                       directly involved in nature conservation
the Gold Coast region
                                                                 Low awareness by the general community,
                                                                 especially younger people (below 35), older
                                                                 people (above 55), those in occupations
                                                                 other than professional / management,
                                                                 and females
2. To raise awareness of       Level of awareness of GCCC’s      Moderate awareness by Councillors and
the Gold Coast region’s        natural assets                    groups within GCCC not directly involved
natural assets and the                                           in nature conservation
importance of these assets
                                                                 Low to moderate awareness by the general
                                                                 community
Knowledge
3. To increase knowledge       Level of support for protecting   There is a low to very low level of
and understanding of the       the Gold Coast’s natural assets   knowledge by the general community
benefits, values,                                                about specific nature conservation
                               Level of support for GCCC’s
importance and outcomes                                          activities.
                               nature conservation activities
of nature conservation
                                                                 There is very low level of community
activities                     Level of knowledge about the
                                                                 understanding about the concept of
                               Gold Coast’s natural assets and


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Recommended                   Performance indicator             Current performance
objective
                              GCCC’s nature conservation        biodiversity.
                              activities
4. To share knowledge         Level of information and          Perceived lack of relevant information
and information about         knowledge exchange occurring      about nature conservation from most
nature conservation           amongst groups and individuals    internal groups not directly involved in
between individuals and       involved in nature conservation   nature conservation, as well as from the
groups interested,            on the Gold Coast                 wider community. This indicates a current
involved or affected by                                         low or very low exchange of knowledge
                              Degree of satisfaction with
nature conservation                                             and information about nature
                              information received
                                                                conservation.
Attitudes
5. To improve the nature      Level of positive views about     Most of those working for GCCC,
conservation image of the     the Gold Coast’s nature           including Councillors, believe there is a
Gold Coast                    conservation image                negative public image of Gold Coast
                                                                nature conservation. This indicates a very
                                                                low internal positive perception of Gold’s
                                                                Coast nature conservation image.
                                                                High to very high belief in the importance
                                                                of nature conservation by the general
                                                                community (less so for students and those
                                                                below 26 years of age).
                                                                The general community has a low positive
                                                                image of the Gold’s Coast’s nature
                                                                conservation image, but there is also a low
                                                                level of awareness about this element.
6. To increase positive       Level of support for the          Very low belief from within Council or
attitudes towards the         GCCC’s role in nature             from Councillors that the GCCC’s nature
GCCC’s role in nature         conservation                      conservation activities assist with decision-
conservation                                                    making about nature conservation
                                                                There was low to moderate qualified
                                                                support from within Council to its
                                                                approach to nature conservation.
                                                                There were low positive views of the
                                                                Council’s overall performance in nature
                                                                conservation by the wider community.
Behaviours
7. To better coordinate       Degree of satisfaction with       There was a low to very low positive
nature conservation           internal coordination and         perception from within Council of its
activities within Council     integration of nature             current ability to integrate and coordinate
and between other             conservation activities           activities across Council.
relevant agencies
8. To increase                Level of involvement in nature    There was a low current involvement by
involvement and               conservation activities           those within Council not directly involved
participation in nature                                         nature conservation activities.
                              Degree of satisfaction with
conservation activities for
                              level of involvement              There was a low to moderate desire by the
identified outcomes
                                                                general community (30-50%) not to be
                              Measured specific behaviour
                                                                involved in nature conservation activities.
                              changes


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Recommended                  Performance indicator         Current performance
objective


9. To increase support for   Level of support for nature   There is a high level of support from
nature conservation          conservation activities       within Council and with the broader
activities                                                 community about the importance of
                                                           nature conservation.
                                                           No current data on this.
                             Level of funding for nature
                             conservation activities
10. To build relationships   Level of partnership and      There appears to be low levels of nature
and partnerships for         cooperative arrangements –    conservation partnerships existing between
planning and                 formal and informal           Council and other relevant groups; the key
implementing nature                                        exception to this is the partnerships built
                             Degree of satisfaction with
conservation activities                                    up by the Natural Areas Management
                             these cooperative
                                                           Unit.
                             arrangements.




In considering the table above, it would be useful for the GCCC to determine future performance
targets that they would like to achieve in a certain time-period, for example to increase awareness to
moderate by the general community by 2008. This will be useful for building in on-going evaluation
and selecting appropriate strategies and activities for achieving those targets. Recommended
evaluation methods for determining success at improving performance include:
    Telephone surveys
    Web-based surveys
    Focus groups and interviews
    Structured workshops
These are techniques used in this project and will provide data that can be used comparatively with
the data collected in this baseline study.




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  Appendix Two: Barriers to achieving communication objectives and
                 suggestions for overcoming these

Table 3. Barriers to achieving communication objectives and suggestions for overcoming
these barriers

Recommended                         Barriers                             Suggestions for overcoming
communication objective                                                  barriers or encouraging
                                                                         changes
Awareness
1. To raise awareness of GCCC’s     Lack of awareness and                Use celebrities to promote
nature conservation activities in   understanding                        NBN community
the Gold Coast region                                                    announcements
                                                                         Community seminars
                                                                         Use existing networks
                                                                         Input into existing mechanisms –
                                                                         e.g. Council newsletters,
                                                                         meetings, rates notices
                                                                         Use media – especially TV and
                                                                         newspapers
                                                                         Better use of website – including
                                                                         maps
                                                                         Use email and direct mail when
                                                                         relevant
                                                                         Educational/school activities
2. To raise awareness of the Gold   No proximity to or limited           Use photos, maps and diagrams
Coast region’s natural assets and   experience with natural areas        Provide opportunities for
the importance of these assets      (typical of people living in high    experiences – field days etc
                                    rise areas or suburbia that is not   Community seminars
                                    close to natural areas)              Use existing networks
                                                                         Input into existing mechanisms –
                                                                         e.g. newsletters, meetings, rates
                                                                         notices
                                                                         Use media
                                                                         Better use of website
                                                                         Signage on acquired sites and
                                                                         popular sites (where people
                                                                         bushwalk, picnic or swim)
                                                                         Visitor centre on a central and
                                                                         prominent conservation site
                                                                         Educational/school activities
Knowledge
3. To increase knowledge and        Complexity of information            Simple pre-tested information
understanding of the benefits,                                           Information on economic and
                                    Uncertainty of some information
values, importance and outcomes                                          social benefits
of nature conservation activities   Lack of information                  Use metaphors and theatre
                                                                         Provide tips on how simple
                                    Inconsistency of information         actions can make a difference
                                    Lack of understanding or             Present to community groups
                                    concern about loss of biodiversity   Peer review of
                                                                         technical/scientific information


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Recommended                         Barriers                             Suggestions for overcoming
communication objective                                                  barriers or encouraging
                                                                         changes
                                                                         Input into existing mechanisms –
                                                                         e.g. newsletters, meetings, rates
                                                                         notices
                                                                         Better use of website
                                                                         Signage on acquired sites
                                                                         Visitor centre on a central and
                                                                         prominent conservation site
                                                                         Central contact person/place for
                                                                         Council nature conservation
                                                                         activities
                                                                         Educational/school activities
4. To share knowledge and           Different values or cultural views   Explore common ground with
information about nature                                                 personal communication
                                    Lack of trust
conservation between individuals                                         Consult with groups
and groups interested, involved     Lack of staff                        Welcome feedback and provide
or affected by nature                                                    mechanisms for this
conservation                                                             Use relevant language and
                                                                         mechanisms to communicate
                                                                         Use art and theatre to
                                                                         communicate
                                                                         Ensure balanced discussions
                                                                         Provide open processes and
                                                                         policies
                                                                         Use trusted others to
                                                                         communicate
                                                                         Demonstrate genuine
                                                                         commitment
Attitudes
5. To improve the nature            No proximity to or limited           Demonstrate with photos and
conservation image of the Gold      experience with natural areas        pictures
Coast                                                                    Provide opportunities for
                                    Perception that development is
                                                                         experiences
                                    more important than nature
                                                                         Use case studies and stories to
                                    conservation
                                                                         demonstrate successful activities
                                    Public, media and business focus     Involve developers in nature
                                    on the beaches and high rise         conservation activities
                                    tourism aspects of the Gold          Showcase positive development
                                    Coast                                NBN community
                                                                         announcements
                                    Lack of awareness that Gold          Media strategy
                                    Coast is Australia’s most
                                    biodiverse city
6. To increase positive attitudes   Lack of trust                        Use personal communication to
towards the GCCC’s role in                                               build relationships
                                    Poor perceptions of elected
nature conservation                                                      Ensure balanced information is
                                    government representatives
                                                                         presented
                                    Influence of perception of green     Ensure open processes and
                                    groups                               policies
                                                                         Encourage cooperative
                                    Perception that development is       partnerships, including with
                                    more important than nature           developers
                                    conservation                         Demonstrate genuine
                                                                         commitment by government and

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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Recommended                      Barriers                          Suggestions for overcoming
communication objective                                            barriers or encouraging
                                                                   changes
                                 Mixed level of support for        developers
                                 Council’s approach to nature      Ensure consistent policy
                                 conservation                      Promote success stories
                                                                   Clearly define roles of people in
                                 Competing GCCC projects
                                                                   government
                                 Perceived conflict of agendas     Integrate delivery of actions
                                 within Council                    across Council departments and
                                                                   branches
                                                                   Hold community field days
                                                                   Use other experts as ‘champions’
                                                                   Provide relevant information
                                                                   about bushwalking, swimming
                                                                   and sightseeing (preferred
                                                                   activities of Gold Coast
                                                                   community)
Behaviours
7. To better coordinate nature   Lack of time                      Demonstrate links between
conservation activities within                                     actions and benefits
                                 Lack of staff
Council and between other                                          Identify potential links and
relevant agencies                Current compartmentalisation      promote collaborative activities
                                 and fragmentation of activities   Harness existing relevant
                                 across Council                    activities
                                                                   Integration and coordination of
                                 Underdeveloped or poor            nature conservation activities
                                 relationships across Council      across Council
                                                                   Internal liaison officer/s
                                                                   Seminars, briefings, workshops
                                                                   Informal/lunchtime meetings
                                                                   Promote a whole-of-Council
                                                                   approach to nature conservation
                                                                   Provide more obvious links
                                                                   between development
                                                                   applications and approvals and
                                                                   the NCS
8. To increase involvement and   Lack of perceived socio-          Provide simple tips for
participation in nature          economic benefits from being      achieving success
conservation activities for      involved                          Demonstrate links between
identified outcomes                                                actions and benefits
                                 Boredom, apathy
                                                                   Provide incentives
                                 Lack of time
                                                                   Enforcement and compliance
                                 Lack of long term commitment      strategies
                                 Lack of enforcement or            Commitment by governments
                                 compliance                        to outcomes
                                                                   Cost sharing
                                 Significant proportion of         Demonstrate links between
                                 population desires no direct
                                                                   nature     conservation     and
                                 involvement
                                                                   economic benefits
                                 Lack of information re            Positive stories of success
                                 involvement activities            Find out how to hit a nerve –
                                                                   physical, aesthetic, financial,
                                                                   social (consultation)

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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Recommended                         Barriers                             Suggestions for overcoming
communication objective                                                  barriers or encouraging
                                                                         changes
                                                                         Demonstrate problems and
                                                                         solutions
                                                                         Promote         interactive
                                                                         experiences
                                                                         Ensure local relevance
                                                                         Listen to people
                                                                         Demonstrate genuine
                                                                         commitment
                                                                         Support increased participation
                                                                         by community groups, especially
                                                                         in land rehabilitation projects
                                                                         (e.g. the CARE programs)
                                                                         Involve community in special
                                                                         days
                                                                         Involve relevant representatives
                                                                         in working and steering
                                                                         committees
9. To increase support for nature   Lack of funding                      Provide incentives
conservation activities                                                  Seek sponsorship
                                    Lack of long term commitment
                                                                         Create partnerships
                                                                         Promote longer funding cycles
10. To build relationships and      Lack of trust                        Explore common ground with
partnerships for planning and                                            personal communication
                                    Lack of time
implementing nature                                                      Consult with groups
conservation activities             Influence or perception of green     Welcome feedback and provide
                                    groups                               mechanisms for this
                                                                         Use relevant language and
                                    Different values of cultural views   mechanisms to communicate
                                                                         Provide open processes and
                                                                         policies
                                                                         Use trusted others to
                                                                         communicate
                                                                         Demonstrate genuine
                                                                         commitment
                                                                         Use a variety of communication
                                                                         tools
                                                                         Demonstrate links between
                                                                         actions and benefits




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
              Appendix Three: Perceptions, Concerns and Needs
The following tables summarise the consultation data gathered with regard to awareness, support
for Council’s approach to nature conservation, the perceived image of the Gold Coast in regard to
nature conservation, threats to nature conservation and information and involvement needs.
Table 4. Awareness of the Nature Conservation Strategy

                      Residents and visitors                     External groups
 Awareness level      Low to moderate                            Limited awareness in most groups
                      Telephone survey (21.2%)                   More awareness in govt and university
                      Web-survey (33.8%)                         groups (job-related)

 Activities           Land acquisition                           Land Acquisition Program
                      Voluntary Conservation Agreements          VCAs
                      (VCAs)
                      Land for Wildlife                          Land for Wildlife
                      Protecting remnant vegetation              CARE programs
                      Rehabilitation of degraded areas           Planning scheme (developer and
                                                                 government groups)
                      CARE programs                              Flora and fauna mapping
                                                                 Native species protection

Table 5. Support for Council’s approach to nature conservation

 Level                GCCC – Councillors and Council             External groups
                      officers
 Most support         Environmental Policy and Planning;         Development and university groups
                      Support Managers; 2 Councillors

 Reasons              Land Acquisition Program                   Land Acquisition Program
                      Funding for site management                Voluntary conservation activities
                                                                 Focus on sustainable development
                                                                 Nature conservation legislation
                                                                 Flora and fauna maps
                                                                 Council staff

 Qualified            Infrastructure Policy and Planning; 6      Most groups, particularly government
 support              Councillors                                and residential groups

 Reasons              Separation between NCS and on-ground       NCS not integrated into Planning
                      activities                                 Scheme
                      Lack of support, involvement and policy    NCS not conserving area and species
                      for backing up on-ground activities        No nature conservation education
                      Reactive planning process that did not     No clear messages from Council
                      balance ESD                                Conflicting priorities of Council
                      Continuing development focus
                      Lack of conservation land in some
                      divisions
                      Lack of management of acquired land
                      Lack of awareness of NCS activities

 Least support        Operation Managers; Natural Areas          Environment and tourism groups
                      Management Unit; 4 Councillors


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
 Level               GCCC – Councillors and Council           External groups
                     officers
 Reasons             Need greater community awareness         Development and tourism focus of
                     Schools program                          Gold Coast
                     Consistent messages from Council         Tourism/recreational issues with
                     Increase in re-vegetation activities     acquired land


Table 6. Knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions

 Views          GCCC – Councillors and Council officers       External groups
 Yes            1 Councillor                                  Residential associations and university
                                                              personnel



 Reasons        Has been adequately communicated and          NCS contains good information
                consultation in place

 Somewhat                                                     Development industry; government and
                                                              tourism groups
 Reasons                                                      Lack of awareness of NCS
                                                              Informs policy or directs policy
                                                              outcomes
                                                              More land acquisition
                                                              Poor mapping – lack of accuracy and
                                                              detail
                                                              No negotiation over site trade-offs
                                                              Mainly opportunities for landholders

 Undecided      4 Councillors                                 Development industry; environmental
                                                              and government groups
 Reasons        Workload prevented them from finding out      Lack of information
                about this
                Needed more information to comment about
                this
                Lack of community awareness



 No             Operation Managers; Support Managers;         Environmental, tourism and
                Environmental Policy and Planning; 4          government groups; university
                Councillors                                   personnel
 Reasons        A lack of information to the community on     Relevant information unavailable
                the strategy                                  NCS does not protect Gold Coast
                A lack of understanding of the open space     natural areas
                policy                                        NCS conflicts with development
                The strategy document is too bureaucratic     industry goals
                and difficult to read                         Council development focus
                Too much consultation
                Lobby group interference
                NCS not integral to the planning scheme
                Lack of awareness in Council
                NCS not integrated into Council planning
                NCS information not up-to-date




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Table 7. Image of nature conservation on the Gold Coast

 Views          GCCC – Councillors           Residents and visitors        External groups
                and Council officers
 Good           1 Councillor                 One quarter of respondents    Development industry,
                                             (telephone survey)            government groups, resident
                                                                           associations
 Reasons                                                                   Council support for nature
                                                                           conservation

 Could be       2 Councillors
 better
 Reasons        Need consistent message
                Include beaches as nature
                conservation
                Policy good but
                perception of
                development pervasive
                Poor media image

 Other          Variable – Infrastructure    Don’t know or other - One     Improving – government
                Policy and Planning; 1       quarter of respondents        groups and resident
                Councillor                   (telephone survey)            associations

                                                                           Dual – Development
                                                                           industry, environmental and
                                                                           government groups
 Reasons        Lack of community                                          Improving - Waterfutures
                awareness                                                  program
                Development industry                                       Mayor support
                lobbying                                                   Dual – Lack of nature
                Lack of community                                          conservation awareness
                interest in nature                                         GCCC activities in some
                conservation                                               areas not others

 Poor           Support Managers;            Half respondents (telephone   Development industry,
                Operation Managers;          survey)                       environmental, government
                Environmental Policy                                       and recreational groups,
                and Planning;                                              education providers,
                Infrastructure Policy and                                  recreational associations,
                Planning; 6 Councillors                                    tourism groups and university
                                                                           personnel
 Reasons        High-rise development        Development-focused           Council’s development focus
                No management of green       nature conservation not       Tourism focus
                space e.g. The Spit          publicised                    Councillor focus
                Develop at all costs         Can do more                   uncoordinated
                No interest in nature        Tourism focus                 No “Green behind the Gold”
                conservation                 Focus on profit/business      promotion
                Beach focus                                                No community awareness of
                Tourism focus                                              nature conservation
                No future for nature                                       nature conservation
                conservation on Gold                                       compartmentalised in Gold
                Coast                                                      Coast region
                Council support for                                        Decisions don’t consider
                development                                                community views
                No awareness of


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
 Views            GCCC – Councillors           Residents and visitors         External groups
                  and Council officers
                  hinterland

Table 8. Key threats to nature conservation on the Gold Coast

 GCCC – Councillors and Council                Residents and visitors         External groups
 officers
 Development                                   Development                    Development

 Lack of Council proactive-ness                Pollution                      Population growth
 Lack of public awareness                      Land clearing                  Council and resident
                                                                              willingness to conserve nature
 Council politics not conducive to nature      Population growth              Water issues
 conservation
 Recreation needs/focus                        Lack of planning and           Weeds
                                               protection
 No community custodianship                    Loss of or break-up of         Lack of community awareness
                                               habitat
 No implementation of NCS in Council           Global warming                 Pollution
 No NCS compliance enforcement                 Weeds and pests                Councillor self-promotion and
                                                                              platforms
 Lack of acquired site maintenance             Loss of biodiversity           State infrastructure
 Council messages not consistent               Tourism                        Feral animals
 Minority and lobby groups                     Don’t know                     NCS inability to conserve
                                                                              nature
 Pets                                                                         Planning scheme
 Perceptions of tourism and nature-based                                      Vegetation clearing
 recreation
 Weeds                                                                        Cars
 Tourism development                                                          Fire and fire management
 Bushfires and bushfire management                                            Recreation – overuse of nature
                                                                              conservation areas
 Pollution


Table 9. Information requested ranked in order of preference

 GCCC – Councillors and Council         Residents and visitors                External groups
 officers
 Updates on activities (Land            Opportunities to partner Council –    Updates on NCS activities with
 acquisitions; management plans; who    voluntary activities and incentives   concrete   examples     (Most
 is doing what; Information for         (Telephone survey)                    groups)
 divisional newsletter) (Councillors)
                                        (Web survey – 4)
 Simple version of NCS document         Purchase of new conservation land     Development-related      nature
 (Councillors and Council officers)     (Telephone survey)                    conservation information (Most
                                                                              groups)
                                        [Web-based survey – 7]
 Policy information (Implementation     Native flora and fauna database       NCS links to tourism/recreation
 of policy and codes; nature            (Telephone survey)                    and the economy (Most groups)
 conservation links to compliance)
 (Councillors and Council officers)     (Web survey – 3)

 Background (Councillors and Council    Location of Nature Conservation       NCS links to planning scheme
 officers)                              Areas (Telephone survey)              (Development, government and
                                                                              environmental groups)


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
 GCCC – Councillors and Council            Residents and visitors                    External groups
 officers
                                           (Web survey – 1)
 Links to strategies and plans (My         Planning initiatives including            Overview       of      NCS
 Living Playground; sustainable            development guidelines and                (Development and government
 buildings programs; State of              consultation on development               groups)
 Environment reporting) (Councillors       (Telephone survey)
 and Council officers)
                                           (Web-based survey – 6]

 Maps showing acquisitions and             Council initiatives (Telephone survey)    Uses      of      green     levy
 potential acquisitions (Councillors                                                 (Development and tourism
 and Council officers)                     (Web-based survey – 5)                    groups)
 Best practice in nature conservation      Activities and opportunities in Nature    Useful nature conservation maps
 in other areas (Councillors and           Conservation Areas (Telephone             – detail of nature conservation;
 Council officers)                         survey)                                   land acquired (Development and
                                                                                     government groups)
                                           (Web-based survey – 2]

 Acquired sites (location; management      Opportunities for involvement             Local        level   information
 plans etc.) (Councillors and Council      (Telephone survey)                        (Development,       government,
 officers)                                                                           environment and residential
                                           (Web survey – 8)                          groups)
 Responsibilities of Council officers      Water conservation and management         Best practice land management
 (Council officers)                        activities (Telephone survey)             activities (Development groups)

 Links to community values and needs       Development guidelines (Telephone         Best practice on sustainable
 (Council officers)                        survey)                                   development (Development and
                                                                                     environmental groups)
 Management plans for acquired sites       Beach and marine management               NCS links to fire hazard
 (Council officers)                        (Telephone survey)                        management (Government and
                                                                                     university groups)
 Water-related activities (Council         Recreation opportunities (Telephone       Recreational information e.g.
 officers)                                 survey)                                   walking tracks, Great Walks
                                                                                     (Regional      groups        and
                                                                                     accommodation providers)
 Landholder incentives (Council            Locally-specific information              NCS links to indigenous and
 officers)                                 (Telephone survey)                        cultural    heritage      issues
                                                                                     (Development and indigenous
                                                                                     groups)
 Management strategies for native          Education materials (Telephone            Nature     corridor    linkages
 species e.g. koala (Council officers)     survey)                                   (Development groups)

 NCS achievements and good case            Area protection and management            Ways to achieve no net loss in
 studies (Council officers)                (Telephone survey)                        nature            conservation
                                                                                     (Development groups)
 Expenditure on nature conservation        Funding allocation (Telephone survey)     Outcomes from involvement
 activities                                                                          (Environmental groups)
 (Council officers)
 Voluntary activities (Council officers)   nature conservation at home – tree        Opportunities for involvement
                                           planting, recycling, alternative energy   (Government groups
                                           sources (Telephone survey)
 NCS performance indicators and            nature conservation incentives
 monitoring (Council officers)             (Telephone survey)




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Table 10. Preferred information needs in order of preference
 GCCC – Councillors and Council              Residents and visitors                   External groups
 officers
 Face-to-face briefings (Councillors)        Tourist Information offices              Media           (Development,
                                             (Telephone survey)                       environmental,       education,
 Compulsory nature conservation                                                       government and tourism groups)
 information sessions for Council            (Web-based survey – 5)
 Officers; Informal meetings; Staff
 induction program for nature
 conservation; Lunch-time discussions;
 One-day environment meetings
 (Council officers)
 Brief updates/executive summaries           Displays (Telephone survey)              Websites        (Accommodation,
 (Councillors)                                                                        development,       environmental,
                                                                                      educational, government and
                                                                                      residential groups)
 Email (Councillors and Council              Conservation groups (Telephone           Better               relationships
 officers)                                   survey)                                  (Accommodation          providers,
                                                                                      development, environmental and
                                             (Web-based survey – 9)                   government groups)

 Brochures (Councillors)                     Qld. Parks & Wildlife Service            Email         (Accommodation
                                             (Telephone survey)                       providers,       development,
                                                                                      government, environmental and
                                             (Web-based survey – 7)                   tourism groups)

 Provide liaison officers across             Websites (Telephone survey)              Resident         mail         outs
 directorates/recreational planner                                                    (Accommodation          providers,
 (Council officers)                          (Web-based survey – 3)                   development,       environmental,
                                                                                      education      and      residential
                                                                                      groups)
 Nature conservation flow-chart for          Radio (Telephone survey)                 Community and industry forums
 Council (Council officers)                                                           (Development, environmental,
                                                                                      educational, residential and
                                                                                      university groups)
 Provide approved documentation              Other newspapers (Telephone survey)      Interpretation at acquired sites
 on NCS                                                                               (Accommodation          providers,
                                             (Web-based survey – 10)                  development,      tourism      and
                                                                                      university groups)
 Central database of reports (Council        TV (Telephone survey)                    Consultation across sectors –
 officers)                                                                            community           ,development,
                                             (Web-based survey – 6)                   government         (Development,
                                                                                      environmental and university
                                                                                      groups)
 Searchable   contacts     list   (Council   Email (Telephone survey)                 Through       council      officers
 officers)                                                                            (Development, environmental,
                                             (Web-based survey – 11)                  residential and university groups)

                                             Brochures (Telephone survey)             Signs at job sites and city
                                                                                      boundaries      (Development,
                                             (Web-based survey – 2)                   environmental and government
                                                                                      groups)
                                             Local newspapers (Telephone survey)      Nature conservation newsletter
                                                                                      (Development, government and
                                             (Web-based survey – 1)                   university groups)

                                             Council newsletters (Telephone survey)   Public   education   materials
                                                                                      (Education, environmental and
                                             (Web-based survey – 8)                   government groups)




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
 GCCC – Councillors and Council         Residents and visitors                  External groups
 officers
                                        Word of mouth (Telephone survey)        Visitor’s centre (Government,
                                                                                recreational and residential
                                        (Web-based survey – 4)                  groups)
                                        Rates notices (Telephone survey)        Information        workshops
                                                                                (Development groups)
                                        (Web-based survey – 12)

Table 11. Preferred involvement

 GCCC – Councillors and Council         Residents and visitors                  External groups
 officers
 General involvement                    Consulted about new policies or plans   Involvement in
 (Environmental Policy and              or activities                           community/university education
 Planning)                                                                      activities (Development,
                                                                                indigenous and university
                                                                                groups)
 DVD/Photographs (Support               Volunteer for local rehabilitation      Community-based projects
 Managers)                              activities                              (Development, indigenous and
                                                                                university groups)
 Creating databases on acquired sites   Join the mailing list of relevant       Tourism-focused nature
 (Support Managers)                     newsletters etc.                        conservation activities e.g.
                                                                                recreation induction programs
                                                                                and ecotourism opportunities
                                                                                (Development and tourism
                                                                                groups)
 “Green Globe” concept (Support         Rubbish removal                         Working on committees
 Managers)                                                                      (Development and university
                                                                                groups)
 Links to water activities              Tree planting                           Development-focused activities
 (Infrastructure Policy and Planning)                                           (Development groups)
 Bushland Management                    Protecting native species               Indigenous heritage nature
 (Infrastructure Policy and Planning)                                           conservation activities
                                                                                (Indigenous groups)




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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
     Appendix Four: Recommended Communication Strategies and
                            Activities

The suggested communication strategies and activities shown in Table 12 were identified through
consultation as being important in achieving effective communication with all target groups. The
strategies reflect concerns and needs identified during the consultation process undertaken during
this project. Possible activities for implementing these strategies are shown. This list of activities is
provided as a ‘tool kit’ of what can be done to achieve particular objectives and outcomes. Where a
specific group has indicated a preference for a specific strategy or activity, this is also indicated.
Strategies 1, 2 and 3 are the immediate priorities. Strategies 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 will be
applied as required for all projects. Strategies 14, 15 and 16 will require external resources and
linkages in order to be achieved.

Table 12. Recommended strategies and activities for achieving objectives

Strategy                Typical activities                                 Objectives        Specific target
                                                                           met               groups
1:       Integrated     Identify groups within Council and outside         4, 6, 7, 8, 9, Internal
partnerships            Council as communication partners                  10             Community
Clarify         the     Encourage          senior      managers     of                    groups
communication           communication partners to agree on                                Environmental
roles    for    the     communication roles and level of                                  groups
parties that are        commitment                                                        NRM groups
involved                Negotiate communication responsibilities                          Developers
                        among partners                                                    Tourist
                        Negotiate to either use their existing                            associations
                        communication mechanisms or use new                               Other
                        joint activities for communication                                government
                        Use an awareness campaign (using                                  agencies
                        organisational e-mail, newsletters, etc) to
                        promote         the       involvement     and
                        responsibilities for the partners, both
                        internally and externally
                        Examine incentive, enforcement and
                        compliance strategies
                        Evaluate the level of agreement and
                        awareness among partners through
                        interviews and focus group discussions
2:       Network        Identify existing or potential pathways for        3, 4, 6, 7, 10    All of the
management              communication                                                        above groups
Identify existing       Support existing relevant networks, and any
networks     and        look at opportunities to fill important gaps
pathways       for      Produce a strategy for optimum use and
communication           expansion of existing networks
                        Annually evaluate the implementation of
                        the network strategy through auditing of
                        communication pathways
3: Network support      Investigate the access of important existing       3, 4, 6, 7, 10    Environmental


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Strategy             Typical activities                            Objectives   Specific target
                                                                   met          groups
Support existing     natural resource and environmental                         groups
networks       of    networks                                                   NRM groups
environment,         Provide support for facilitators of natural
landcare     and     resource community-based groups
catchment groups     Provide access to other relevant networks
etc                  and sources of information
                     Monitor and evaluate the usefulness of
                     various means of support provided (e.g.
                     electronic communication)


4:   Community-     Identify specific behaviour changes desired 7,8,9,10        All
based       social  by specific community sectors
marketing           Understand barriers and benefits for these
Achieve             sectors     adopting      these    behaviours
behaviour change    compared to alternative behaviours
                    Look at tools for encouraging behaviour
                    change and develop plans
                    Pilot and evaluate plans
                    Implement plans and evaluate
5:       Awareness- Identify key journalists and media outlets 1,2,34,5,6       All,        but
raising/media       within the Gold Coast and nationally for                    especially the
Engage the mass improving relationships                                         broader Gold
media               Identify key spokespeople or ‘champions’                    Coast
                    who can talk to the media about issues                      community
                    (ensure people have media skills training)                  and visitors to
                    Focus on positive success stories of nature                 the region
                    conservation activities or outcomes
                    Hold regular short briefings for key media
                    representatives on Gold Coast nature
                    conservation issues
                    Put out regular and relevant media releases
                    that target relevant local media
                    Produce media releases of national
                    significance (especially targeting likely
                    visitors to Gold Coast)
                    Use media launches to promote specific
                    programs or outcomes
                    Use        community         regional      TV
                    announcements (NBN) to promote specific
                    outcomes or activities
                    Evaluate media coverage in terms of
                    quantity (media monitoring) and quality
                    (content analysis of a sample)
6: Message design Identify relevant representatives of target All               All
and delivery        groups to be involved in message
Develop             development
mechanisms       to Hold workshop/s with representatives of target
reach agreement groups to design shared messages
                     When developing messages for specific

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Strategy                Typical activities                                   Objectives   Specific target
                                                                             met          groups
on messages             communication products it is useful to consider
                        the following three questions:
                          1. What Council wants to get across to a
                              specific group about nature conservation
                              (Council’s objectives)
                          2. What the specific group wants to know
                              about Council’s nature conservation
                              activities (their concerns and needs)
                          3. What the specific group could get wrong
                              about the Council’s nature conservation
                              activities unless the correct information is
                              stressed (their perceptions)
                        Pre-test all communication mechanisms and
                        products to ensure they reflect relevant
                        messages, and that are clearly understood
                        Develop project-specific and issues-specific
                        communication products and activities to
                        ensure      the    agreed     messages    are
                        communicated
                        Evaluate communication mechanisms and
                        products in terms of message design and
                        reception
7: Coordination of      Coordinate an audit on information 1,2,3,4,5,6                    All
information             currently available on the Gold Coast’s
Coordinate     the      nature conservation
development and         Produce a database of available information,
delivery        of      where it’s from, what format it’s in, and for
messages                whom the information is relevant
                        Produce directories of information,
                        communication resources and key contacts
                        Promote database and directories through
                        identified communication pathways
                        Maintain and update database and
                        directories as required
                        Evaluate the usefulness of database and
                        directories through feedback sheets
8: Publications         For each new information product, 1,2,3,4                         All
Produce        clear,   determine its purpose, the target audience
concise, relevant       and their demand for such products
and           timely    Identify important gaps in current
printed          and    publications and produce a list of suggested
electronic media        publications and their audience relevance
products                Use strategic alliances to determine:
(e.g.       posters,    *Demand for existing publications
books,      reports,    *Opportunities for new joint publications
posters, displays,      *Opportunities to insert materials into
audio and video)        existing publications (e.g. newsletters)
.                       *Mechanisms for optimal cost-effective
                        distribution of publications (print or
                        electronic)
                        Consider the use of direct mail and email

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Strategy              Typical activities                              Objectives   Specific target
                                                                      met          groups
                      with specific groups
                      Pre-test publications or outlines and sample
                      text of publications with relevant target
                      groups
9.          Website   Review the structure and content of the         1,2,3,4      All – especially
information           existing website (see Desktop Review)                        internal,
For internal and      Make ‘hot links’ with other relevant WWW                     school groups
public use            pages                                                        and      general
                      Pre-test website design and information                      community
                      with relevant target groups
10:        Personal   Targeted information exchange workshops         All          All – especially
information-sharing   Field       days    demonstrating      nature                community,
Wherever              conservation activities or outcomes                          natural
possible, employ      Structured workshops exchanging updates                      resource
personal              on key issues                                                management
communication         Use strategic conferences or meetings to                     and
                      debate contentious nature conservation                       environment
                      management issues                                            groups
                      Use seminars and briefings
                      Promote involvement with community
                      groups in special days; e.g. World
                      Environment Day
                      Evaluate personal information-sharing
                      sessions through verbal or written
                      participant assessment at the end of such
                      sessions
11: Communication     Provide identified spokespeople with media      All          Internal
skills training       skills training
Train people in       Support various spokespeople to attend
effective             presentation skills training
communication         Train people in skills such as listening,
technique             networking, conflict resolution, and
.                     consultation
                      Support and train people, where necessary,
                      in community-based social marketing
                      techniques
                      Assess effectiveness of training through
                      evaluation of workshops (through end of
                      workshop feedback sheets), and subsequent
                      evaluation of communication performance
                      (through timed surveys of participants)
12:    Consultation   Assess communication networks to ensure         4,8,9,10     All
and feedback          there are clear lines of communication for
Build in two way      all key target groups and individuals to
communication         easily provide unsolicited feedback to
with consultation     activities
and      feedback     Promote such communication pathways for
processes             providing feedback using the identified
                      networks


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Gold Coast City Council – December 2005
Strategy             Typical activities                         Objectives   Specific target
                                                                met          groups
                   Develop a reference group (based on initial
                   web survey list) to use as a basis for
                   consultation about key community activities
                   Develop a policy for consultation that
                   includes the need to clearly identify the
                   objectives of the consultation, target groups
                   to be consulted, mechanisms of
                   consultation, means of reporting back to
                   those who participated in the consultation,
                   way in which the consultation information
                   will be used
                   Evaluate and monitor the level of
                   unsolicited feedback and the reactions to
                   consultation
13:       Briefing Identify Councillors, other government 8,9,10             Councillors
Councillors and representatives and bureaucrats who need                     Council
other influential to be briefed personally on a regular basis                managers
people             Provide short personal briefings to relevant              Other
                   politicians and bureaucrats, and follow up                government
Ensures            with a short written briefing of key                      representatives
appropriate        implications
support            Provide policy recommendations to key
                   government advisers
                   Produce short issues-statements and
                   distribute to relevant politicians and
                   Invite relevant politicians and bureaucrats
                   on targeted field visits that highlight key
                   nature conservation activities and outcomes
                   Evaluate success by assessing level of
                   political support and involvement in God
                   Coast nature conservation activities


14: Interpretation Develop an interpretation strategy for Gold 1,2,3,4,5     All – especially
strategy           Coast conservation in liaison with other                  Gold     Coast
                   relevant groups (e.g. QPWS, NRM groups,                   community
Provides    visual etc)                                                      and visitors to
information and Consider a on-stop-shop for nature                           the
hands-on-          conservation information that could be                    community
experiences     at linked to a visitor centre at a prominent
key sites          location – this could be developed in
                   partnership with other groups; e.g. QPWS
                   Produce signage for acquired sites and
                   natural sites in common use
                   Produce signage and interpretation
                   experiences that emphasise the value of less
                   obvious species
                   Pre-test signage and interpretive experiences
                   before finalising their design


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Strategy              Typical activities                         Objectives   Specific target
                                                                 met          groups
                      Evaluate interpretive strategy
15. Link with Gold    Liaise with relevant representatives of the All         All
Coast          arts   Gold Coast arts community to develop a
community             nature conservation – arts strategy
Provides              This could include:
innovative ways       *exhibitions at Council art gallery, Council
for            the    chambers or private galleries
community to be       *photographic/art competitions with a
involved in nature    nature theme
conservation          *community theatre exploration of nature
activities            conservation themes
                      *use of theatre as a means of exploring
                      community views on nature conservation
                      issues
                      Activities would be evaluated according to
                      levels of participation and increased
                      awareness
16: Education         Expand and promote the Council’s web 1-8                Schools, other
Target         the    resources for teachers focusing on nature               educational
education             conservation activities and issues                      institutions
system’s curricula    Identify      relevant     community      and
and resources         undergraduate tertiary courses (TAFE,
.                     Agricultural Colleges, Universities), and
                      liaise with course developers to ensure
                      incorporation       of     knowledge      and
                      understanding of the Gold Coast’s natural
                      assets
                      Involve education institutions in nature
                      conservation activities
                      Hold field days targeting local educational
                      institutions
                      Evaluate input into educational programs at
                      all levels by assessing the level of awareness
                      and use of GCCC materials through
                      questionnaires and focus groups




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