Council staff shared the draft Study with the community and key stakeholders. During the public exhibition period, 6 April to 11 May 2020, letters were sent to more than 16,300 residents and property owners in the catchment area inviting them to learn more and join the conversation. Emails with this information were sent to community, education, Register of Interest (flood), business, government and emergency services’ stakeholders. The information was also available through Council’s Customer Service Centre.
In line with Australian and NSW Government guidelines for COVID-19, some changes were made to the community engagement approach. Instead of having face-to-face conversations, the following opportunities were offered for people to learn more and provide feedback:
- A project webpage on www.our.wollongong.nsw.gov.au for people to:
- Read the FAQ, draft Study and view a Floodplain Risk Management Process diagram to learn more about the Study, how we manage flood risk and what we will use the flood study information for
- View a video presentation on the flood study report and flood-modelling results
- View short flood-modelling videos that help explain flood behaviour in the catchment
- Post questions in an online Q&A, for response by Council flood engineers
- Provide feedback on the flood study via the online form
- Phone or Skype video calls for people to talk to a flood engineer
- Email submissions to the Engagement team
There were 32 submissions. Five people also posted questions to an online Q&A on the project webpage, which were responded to by Council flood engineers. Feedback themes relating to the flood study focused on the study area, mapping and flood modelling. Expansion of the study area to include the William Street Creek was welcomed. A suggestion was made for improving the resolution of the maps in the draft Study documents that were published on the webpage. It was noted that the flood modelling has good correlation with actual observations.
Other feedback themes related to Council's floodplain risk management work, flood mitigation, creek and vegetation maintenance, perceived causes of flooding, observations of flooding, requests for flood levels for individual properties, the community engagement approach and a request for pathways along the creeks.
Consultation has concluded