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2021 Core Values Awards Winner | Environment

IAP2 Australasia Core Values Awards Case study

Developing the City of Cockburn’s Climate Change Strategy | City of Cockburn Town Team Movement

Highlights at a glance

  • The City of Cockburn is located 17km south of Perth and has a population of over 117,000 people.
  • To inform its first ever Climate Change Strategy, the City of Cockburn sought leadership direction from the community to ensure we produced a truly collaborative, targeted and community-driven strategy.
  • With climate change being relevant to all Cockburn residents, ratepayers, businesses and community groups, the engagement needed to be broad in its scope and reach. The objective was to understand the community’s vision for creating a more sustainable and resilient future, and aspirations for the City to demonstrate leadership. The resulting insights would shape the direction of the City’s Climate Change Strategy and inform operational requirements for the next ten years and beyond.
  • As the City sought to understand and ensure public concerns and aspirations were addressed in the Climate Change Strategy, the engagement program sat on the ‘Involve’ level of the public participation spectrum.
  • To demonstrate sustainability leadership and to adopt a best practice approach to consultation, the City undertook its first paperless community engagement. In addition, the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic meant having to quickly adapt and pivot to a fully online process. The engagement began with informative online community listening posts led by subject matter experts, followed by an online survey, one-on-one phone consultations, and online consultation workshops with community, business and industry, reference groups, City staff and elected members.

Three key outcomes showing the impact of the engagement:

  1. There was a very high level of community interest and participation, with the highest ever visitation rate (at the time) of over 2,000 people to the City’s ‘Comment on Cockburn’ digital engagement platform, and participation rates exceeding anticipated levels.
  2. The City incorporated the community’s vision and aspirations for Cockburn’s climate future into the Climate Change Strategy 2020-2030. It includes an innovative ‘resilience roadmap’, directly informed by the consultation, setting out 14 objectives that demonstrate leadership, encourage collaboration, reduce emissions and increase adaptive capacity.
  3. The engagement found the Cockburn community were very clear that the City should take a very aspirational approach in demonstrating leadership. This gave the City confidence in setting highly aspirational targets, seeking innovative solutions for energy supply, showcasing world leadership in waste management, and ensuring best practice adaptation.

Three key engagement takeaways:

  1. Taking a visioning approach to community engagement to inform strategy development can result in innovative ideas that would not have otherwise been identified.
  2. Online workshops remove barriers and can be more accessible to cohorts who may not normally participate in engagement projects, thus improving participation levels and satisfaction in the engagement process.
  3. An entirely paperless consultation is possible and is highly effective.