Community Consultation – How Can You Do It Effectively?


One of the biggest redevelopments in Lane Cove history is on the drawing board.  The Lane Cove Council is reviewing plans for the redevelopment of Rosenthal Avenue Car Park.  It is proposed that a building be erected on this site with shops and car parking underground.  The roof of the building would be connected in some way to the Village and would be like a town square.   The plans are to have a green space that can become a cultural/meeting place.  The grass area around the Rotunda in the plaza is just not adequate for a large cultural event.

A process of community consultations has started.  In the Cove went along to one of the community consultations recently.  It is fair to say that the Lane Cove demographics were not fairly represented at this meeting.

If you look at the demographics of Lane Cove (using data from the 2011 census).  The median age of a person living in Lane Cove was 37.  Children under 14 years of age represent 18.9% of the population and adults over 65 represent 13.4% of the population.   I can assure you that at the community meeting ITC attended,  there were very few people of the median age or parents with children under 14 years of age.

If you walk through the Plaza during the day, the village green is packed with prams and children running around enjoying the sun.

Why was this demographic not represented?  The meeting was held at 6.00 pm at night.  Not a great time if you are a parent trying to feed a family and get them all to bed.  The next community consultation was scheduled for during the school holidays.

The Council tried to obtain further feedback by sending out an Email advising there was a survey and promoting it on its webpage.  However ITC understands that the council only has about 3000 Email addresses.  Only 244 people responded to the survey.  The two community consultations were limited to 30 people each.  There was another forum for business owners.

So only 300 people’s views have been obtained so far.  This is a concern and it was raised by people at the forum (particularly when a group was asked to pretend they were parents with young children).  ITC was asked to be an empty nester and give her view on what an empty nester might want.  Of course ITC wanted more information.  Was I a child bride?  If so I would be a young empty nester still working so I would probably spend only weekends In the Cvoe.  Was I retired – if so I would spend more time in Lane Cove. Do my children come home to regularly visit me?  Needless to say the consultant really did not want to focus on my questions.

ITC was very disappointed with the community consultation process.  However there is some light at the end of the tunnel.  Mayor Scott Bennison is an ITC liker and has noticed that the ITC demographics are the missing voice in the consultation process.  The Mayor approached ITC and asked if ITC could put a call out to the mums who use the plaza every day and ask them to come along to a session during the day.

Here are the details
You are invited to attend the

Rosenthal Carpark Redevelopment, Place Making Workshop

WHEN: Thursday, 9 May 2013

WHERE: Cove Room, Lane Cove Council Civic Centre,
48 Longueville Road, Lane Cove

TIME: 12:00noon to 2pm

RSVP by Tuesday, 30 April (please note workshop numbers are limited)

To register your attendance at the workshop please email your name to:

To help you understand the background to the project please view the Project Fact Sheet to explain the process to date, the overall redevelopment project as well as the workshop focus on the public space. The purpose of the workshop is to work with community members regarding the public space only. It is an opportunity for the community to share their ideas about what is missing in terms of public space in Lane Cove as well as the type of things people would like to be able to do there in the future.

If you would like any questions answered about things outside of the public space, please email and we will do our best to answer them. However we ask that you please do not bring these questions to the workshop as the workshop runs for a set amount of time and needs to cover a large amount of material.

We look forward to seeing you on the day.

Lane Cove Council

If you are coming please email to let us know. Please feel free to bring bring your child as it is important that your thoughts are represented.