Past Engagement Projects

Arts, entertainment and culture

Newcastle Museum

This survey sought to gauge Newcastle Museum's visitation patterns, visit planning and visitor experiences.
2013 Newcastle Museum visitor survey report (PDF)

Newcastle Region Libraries

The Newcastle region libraries survey aimed to identify community satisfaction levels with Newcastle library services and to determine areas for improvement. 
2014 Newcastle Region Libraries survey report (PDF)

Beaches, parks and recreation

Bar Beach

Council engaged with the community regarding an upgraded plan for the Bar Beach precinct. 
2009 Bar Beach Cliff Stabilisation Project and Empire Park Playground (PDF)

Winter Beach Patrols

The Beach / Baths Patron survey was issued in response to a Council resolution of September 2013. The online survey asked respondents if the existing winter patrols were occurring in their preferred locations. 
2014 Beach patron - winter patrols survey report (PDF)

Blackbutt Reserve

A series of community consultations were undertaken to gather opinion on current and future services and facilities at Blackbutt, with the results forming the basis of the Masterplan and Plan of Management for Blackbutt.
2010 Blackbutt stage one consultation report (PDF)
2010 Blackbutt atage one consultation report appendices (PDF)
2010 Blackbutt stage two consultation report (PDF)

Cycling

To better understand current habits and impediments to cycling, Council regularly undertakes community surveys about cycling in Newcastle.
2014 Newcastle Cycleways survey report (PDF)
2014 Newcastle Cycleways quick report (PDF)
2010 Cycling in Newcastle survey report (PDF)

Empire Park

The Empire Park consultation sought to provide the community with information about the skate park project and obtain feedback on the proposed design.
2010 Empire Park Skate Park consultation report (PDF)

Grahame Park

Carrington residents voted on their preferred tree species as part of an initiative to shade the children’s playground equipment on the western portion of Grahame Park.
2012 Grahame Park quick poll results (PDF)

Islington Park

Broad community opinion on the current and future services and facilities at Islington Park was gathered via Newcastle Voice community reference panel members and park visitors.
2011 Islington Park place making consultation report (PDF)

Leash Free Areas

This consultation was conducted on behalf of Compliance Services to gather community views on Council’s leash free areas, dog agility area and areas where dogs are prohibited. 
2011 Off Leash Areas survey report (PDF)

Merewether Baths

This survey provided Council with community opinion surrounding future planning for the baths.
2014 Merewether Baths precinct survey report (PDF)

National Park

A community workshop was held to assist with the development of a Plan of Management (PoM) for National Park. The PoM sets out a clear direction for the future of the Park and how this area is to be developed, managed and used over the coming years. 
2011 National Park POM consultation report (PDF)

Newcastle Foreshore

Newcastle Voice conducted a survey with Newcastle Voice and members of the broad community to explore visitor needs and expectations about the Newcastle Foreshore. The results were used to help develop the Newcastle Foreshore Plan of Management.
2013 Newcastle Voice Foreshore survey report (PDF)
2013 Newcastle Foreshore Visitor Intercept survey report (PDF)
2013 Foreshore Plan of Management (POM) community workshop report (PDF)

Newcastle Baths

Information was gathered from the community regarding visitation and usage of the Baths, recommended improvements, and preferred commercial or development opportunities at the site. The results were distributed as part of the Newcastle Ocean baths expressions of interest provess held in late 2014.
2014 Newcastle Ocean Baths expression of interest survey report (PDF)

Recreation

Consultation was conducted with the community to better understand recreation patterns and to help guide the city’s future decisions about parks, public open spaces and recreation.
2013 Recreation in Newcastle survey report (PDF)
2013 Newcastle Recreation Plan intercept survey report (PDF)

Wallsend Park Skate Facility

The project to build a federally funded skate park facility at Wallsend Park was underway for several years, commencing with the Skate Park Review in 2008. Federal funding ($417,000) was successfully obtained in 2010, which led to two workshop sessions being held to determine community expectations.
2010 Wallsend Skate Facility workshop report (PDF)

We love our coast

Consultation was conducted with the community to gather opinion on the proposed recommendations from the draft Newcastle Coastal Revitalisation Masterplan.
2010 We Love Our Coast survey report (PDF)
2010 We Love Our Coast report appendices (PDF)

Budgets and rates

Budget and Delivery Plan

Following 18 months of community consultation, the Newcastle 2030 Community Strategic Plan was created in 2011. This plan was used to shape Council’s 1 Year Operation Plan and 4 Year Delivery Program 2011. The Operational and Delivery Plans were discussed at three community workshops . The focus was on Hunter Street, coastal revitalisation, new cycleways and the upgrading of key cultural and recreational facilities.
2011 Questions asked in workshop 1, Newcastle (PDF)
2011 Questions asked in workshop 2, Merewether (PDF)
2011 Questions asked in workshop 3, Adamstown (PDF)

Special Rate Variations

Council invited community feedback on proposals to increase rates above the rate cap.
2014 (Oct) Special rate variation engagement report (PDF) - special rate variation was approved by IPART in May 2015.
2014 (Oct) Special rate variation engagement report appendices (PDF)
2014 (Oct) Special rate variation summary report (PDF)

2014 (Feb) Special rate variation survey report (PDF) - special rate variation application did not proceed.

2011 (Oct) Special rate variation survey report (PDF) - special rate variation was approved by IPART in June 2012.

Sustainability Review

In 2009, Council commissioned a consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the organisation. The objectives for the review included: 1. ensuring long term sustainability, 2. regaining community confidence and 3. building a cohesive, forward looking. A Newcastle Voice survey was conducted to gauge community sentiment in regard to 19 recommendations arising from the review. The findings from this survey have been used by Council to assist in operational reviews.
2009 Sustainability Review Stage 1 consultation report (PDF)

Building and planning

Heritage Conservation Area Reviews

Council engaged with local community members in heritage conservation areas (HCAs) to better understand what residents / property owners value about their HCA and to understand how Council can enhance these values within the context of development assessment. The findings from the community engagement activities informed the review of the HCA Development Control Plan.

2015 The Hill Heritage Conservation Area survey report (PDF)
2015 Newcastle East Heritage Conservation Area survey report (PDF)
2015 The Hill and Newcastle East community information session report (PDF)
2014 Hamilton South 'Garden Suburb' Heritage Conservation Area survey report (PDF)
2014 Hamilton South 'Garden Suburb' summary report (PDF)
2014 Cooks Hill Heritage Conservation Area Review survey report (PDF)

Hunter Street Revitalisation

In response to the continuing decline of Hunter Street over time, Council embarked on a major project to revitalise the street in 2009, from Pacific Park in the east to the junction with Stewart Avenue in the west. A series of consultation activities occurred over a period of two years, with each activity progressively delving into greater detail for project specifics and realistic changes that can be made by Council. The consultation contributed significantly to shaping the Hunter Street Revitalisation Masterplan, which was adopted by Council on 14th December 2010.
2010 Hunter Street Revitalisation stage one consultation report (PDF)
2010 Hunter Street Revitalisation stage two consultation report (PDF)
2010 Hunter Street Revitalisation consultation report appendices (PDF)

Laman Street

A comprehensive plan for the future of Laman Street & the Civic Precinct was desired by Strategic Planning Services, including a review of the 2004 Civic and Cultural Precinct Masterplan. In February 2010, Council gauged the community's long-term visions for the park and precinct. A Newcastle Voice survey drew 414 responses, 401 of which were from members. A two day charette workshop in March 2010 informed the draft Design Framework. This draft Design Framework was exhibited from December 2010 to February 2011 and accompanied by a Newcastle Voice survey. 807 responses were received.
2010 Laman Street & Civic Precinct Vision - engagement report (PDF)
2011 Laman Street & Civic Precinct Draft Masterplan - engagement report (PDF)

Landscaping Provisions in the 2012 Newcastle Development Control Plan

The aim of this consultation was to gather community opinion on whether the provision of landscaping within medium density housing developments is of adequate area and scale, as this section of the draft DCP attracted special attention.
2011 DCP Landscaping Provisions survey report (PDF)

Local Planning Strategy

A series of eight community information sessions and workshops were held to gain feedback on the draft Local Planning Strategy.
2015 Local Planning Strategy community engagement report (PDF)

Revitalising Newcastle

In May 2015 Newcastle City Council (Council) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UrbanGrowth NSW that acknowledged Council's role in the urban renewal process and defined how the two parties would work together to implement and deliver the NSW Government's Newcastle Urban Transformation and Transport Program.

In the spirit of the MOU, Council worked with UrbanGrowth NSW to ensure that as many people as possible were able to have a say in revitalisation of Newcastle's city centre during the six-week Revitalising Newcastle community engagement program. To extend the reach of the Revitalising Newcastle engagement program, a survey was conducted of Newcastle Voice members in September 2015. The survey broadly sought to understand community sentiment towards urban transformation of Newcastle's city centre. In total, 710 Newcastle Voice members completed the survey. Data was weighted post-collection to be representative of the LGA in terms of location (ward), age and gender.

2015 Newcastle Voice Revitalising Newcastle summary report (PDF)
2015 Newcastle Voice Revitalising Newcastle survey report (PDF)
2015 Newcastle Voice Revitalising Newcastle survey report appendices (PDF)

For more information about the Newcastle Urban Transformation and Transport program, please visit www.revitalisingnewcastle.com.au

South Stockton Public Domain

Consultation was conducted on behalf of Strategic Planning Services to gather community opinion on proposals in the draft South Stockton Public Domain Plan (PDP). A survey was held during the plan's public exhibition period to seek opinions regarding proposals at Pitt Street Reserve, Lion Park and Griffin Park. The survey was conducted with the Newcastle Voice community reference panel and the broader community between the 18th January and 29th February 2012 and 597 responses were received.
2012 South Stockton Reserves Public Domain Engagement Report (PDF)

Young Street Carrington Reconstruction Project

Council plans to undertake full road and footpath reconstruction at Young Street Carrington and has been working with local residents and businesses to ensure their concerns and the things they value about Young Street are incorporated into the project.
More information

Community planning

Ageing at Home

A survey was issued in July 2009 to find out what people’s requirements might be as they age: whether changes to housing, finances, physical wellbeing or other needs. A total of 355 Newcastle Voice members over the age of 55 completed the survey and a further 22 attended focus groups to expand on the survey results.
2009 Ageing at Home Engagement Report (PDF)


Community Snapshot

The 2014 community snapshot survey was undertaken to better understand key issues, community needs and community priorities and to determine the importance of and satisfaction with the services and facilities provided by Council.
2014 Community Snapshot Survey Report (PDF)

Community Survey

The aim of the community survey was to assess community attitudes towards the provision of services in the city. It helped gain community insight regarding satisfaction with overall Council performance, benchmarking Council's performance with Victorian local governments and The City of Newcastle's 2008 results. 
2012 Community Survey Results (PDF)
2012 Commnity Survey Summary of Major Findings (PDF)

Newcastle 2030 Community Strategic Plan

Consultation was conducted to gauge community awareness of the Newcastle 2030 Community Strategic Plan, to better understand the community's priorities and gather ideas to help shape the future for Newcastle.
2012 Newcastle 2030 CSP Review - Engagement Report (PDF)
2012 CSP Review Appendices (PDF)

Social Plan

A revised Social Plan (2011-2016) is due from Council. It will outline strategies and actions that will be implemented by Council; and identify focus areas for other community and Government organisations. It will also deliver against the Newcastle 2030 objectives as they are formulated into four-year and annual planning cycles. A survey, conducted in March 2011 to determine key items of social importance for residents and ratepayers of Newcastle, garnered 693 responses from across the local government area.
2011 Social Plan Survey Report (PDF)

Youth Services

This consultation was conducted to identify current youth services provided by other organisations, as well as preferences for new activities, with a focus on the western suburbs of the Newcastle local government area. In total, 110 young people and community organisations were consulted from October 2009 to March 2010 to plan services and lead towards the preparation of a city-wide Youth Services Strategy. The consultation sought to increase the engagement of young people in the planning and delivery of activities.
2010 Youth Services Engagement Report (PDF)

Environmental / water / waste

Environment

This consultation was conducted on behalf of Environment & Climate Change Services to access community participation and overall attitudes towards the environment and Earth Hour. It was the first survey conducted through Newcastle Voice, in March 2009, attracting 435 responses from 574 active members.
2009 Newcastle Voice Environment Survey (PDF)

Environmental Upgrades - Building Owners Survey

The enivornment upgrades survey of building owners sought to gauge the level of interest amongst non-residential building owners to undertake environmental building upgrades. Results indicated scope to increase penetration of environmental building options and improve knowledge of programs available through education.
2012 Environmental upgrades agreements - building owners - survey report (PDF)

Waste Services

Prior to the introduction of a residential green waste bin in 2011/2012, Council consulted widely with community regarding their satisfaction with domestic waste collection services and opinion on the proposed introduction of the residental green waste recycling bin.
2009 Waste services survey report (PDF)
2010 Waste services workshop report (PDF)

Water Sensitive City Survey

The inaugural Water Sensitive City survey was undertaken in 2012 to help Council understand community opinions and priorities regarding stormwater management in Newcastle. To inform future planning, the 2015 Water Sensitive City survey sought to monitor community perceptions and behaviours in this regard by comparing results to the 2012 survey.
2015 Water sensitive city survey report (PDF)
2012 Water sensitive city survey report (PDF)

Newcastle Voice - planning

Engagement Charter, Policy & Framework

Council consulted with the community and Councillors regarding the development of Council's engagement charter, policy, and framework via surveys, workshops, and calls for submissions during public exhibition periods.
2013 Community engagement policy and framework workshop (PDF)

Customer Service

Council is committed to providing exceptional customer service to Newcastle residents and ratepayers who contact Council each year seeking information and/or assistance. To monitor performance in this regard, Council reqularly surveys the community to assess satisfaction with the level of customer service provided. Results are used to develop initiatives to improve customer service at Council.
2015 Customer Service survey summary (PDF)
2015 Customer Service survey report (PDF)
2012 Customer Service survey report (PDF)
2010 Customer Service and Communications survey report (PDF)
2009 Customer Service and Communication survey report (PDF)

Significant Community Issues

Newcastle Voice and Councillors were asked to provide their feedback to help Council better meet the needs of the community and identify areas for improvement in Council's management of significant community issues in the future. The information gained was used to inform the General Manager’s Laman Street Fig Tree Review, which provided recommendations for improving Council’s engagement processes in respect to issues of major community significance.
2012 Significant community issues - Newcastle Voice survey report (PDF)
2012 Significant community issues - Councillor survey report (PDF)

Roads and traffic

Hannell Street and Industrial Drive Proposed Re-naming

A Newcastle Voice quick poll was conducted to gauge support for the proposed renaming of Hannell Street and Industrial Drive to James Hannell Drive in honour of Newcastle's first Mayor. Residents and businesses along Hannell Street and Industrial Drive were not supportive of the change, and the renaming did not proceed.
2012 Hannell Street renaming quick poll results (PDF)

Kotara Parking

A workshop was held to share the results of Council's Traffic Study in the suburbs around Westfield Kotara on 8 June 2011. Information was provided about the development application from Westfield, the results of the traffic and parking components of the study and details of the changes proposed. Of the 170 participants, over 70 lodged a submission that evening, and many concerns were heard.
2011 Kotara traffic and parking workshop Q & A (PDF) 
2011 Kotara traffic and parking study (PDF)

Road Safety

A survey of Newcastle Voice and key stakeholders was conducted to gather public opinion on road user behaviour, road safety issues/concerns, effectiveness of our current road safety programs and preferred communication tools. The information gained assisted in the development and implementation of Newcastle Road Safety 2011 education programs, funded by the Roads and Traffic Authority.
2010 Road safety survey report (PDF)

Tourism and economy

Beaumont Street

A community workshop was held with Beaumont Street users and businesses to explore a proposal to allow food and beverage business owners to increase their kerb width to accommodate additional customer dining. The workshop report aided Council's ongoing work in the growth of the city's main streets program.
2009 Beaumont Street kerb extension workshop report (PDF)

Hunter Street Mall Day Markets

The Hunter Street mall day markets survey sought to gather opinions from the community, visitors to the markets, and businesses in the area regarding market attendance, the types of stalls the community would like to see more and less of, and preferred days, times and locations for the markets.
2014 Hunter Street mall day markets survey report (PDF)

Business Improvement Areas

In 2010 consultation was conducted to opinion for opportunities for improvement and possible expansion of Newcastle’s special benefit rates (SBR) program. Consultation was conducted with the small business community and property owners in Newcastle’s mainstreets areas. The consultation report accompanied a business paper to Council on 7 September 2010, which subsequently resulted in Council agreeing to change from the Mainstreet Model to an alternative approach known as a Business Improvement Area (BIA), which have since been implemented with consistent planning and reporting formats across the city.
2010 Mainstreets consultation report (PDF)

Newcastle After Dark

To inform future night-time economy strategic planning and alcohol management, Council regularly monitors community perceptions of and participation in the night time economy in Newcastle. 
2015 Newcastle after dark survey report (PDF)
2015 Newcastle after dark summary report (PDF)
2010 Newcastle by night survey report (PDF)

Stockton Beach Holiday Park

In 2011, a workshop and survey were conducted to inform local residents and stakeholders about works at Stockton Beach Tourist Park as gather ideas from the community and park users about subsequent development.
2011 Stockton tourist park consultation report (PDF)