Clermont Preferred Future: Stakeholder Reflections on a Community Foresight and Planning Initiative
- Business entrepreneurship, and economic development;
- Infrastructure investment, and transport;
- Leadership and governance;
- Liveability and lifestyle;
- Natural capital and cultural heritage;
- Community health and wellbeing.
2.1. Clermont and Mining
2.2. Futures and Foresight
2.2.1. Types of Future Orientation
2.2.2. Depths of Thinking
2.2.3. Alternative Perspectives
- Pramatic foresight—envisages the future as a competitive space in which to seek advantage;
- Progressive foresight—seeks to redefine or transform prevailing practices, with a focus on concepts such as cooperation and sustainability;
- Civilisational foresight—seeks not only to transform but also to reconceptualise the human and social condition.
2.3. Community Engagement and Development
2.3.1. Normative Models of Engagement
- Scan for current or prior engagement work;
- Set goals and plan;
- Define the stakeholders;
- Manage expectations;
- Use group discussion;
- Use varied presentation formats;
- Allow for mutual influence;
- Foster trust, respect and ownership;
- Maintain contact and feedback;
- Systematically evaluate engagement.
2.3.2. Descriptive Models of Levels
|Author||Extent of community participation|
non-participation extensive participation
|Arnstein ||manipulation and therapy||informing, consultation and placating||partnership, delegated power, and citizen control|
|Wilcox ||information||consultation||deciding together||acting together||supporting independent community initiatives|
|Stewart Carter ||excluding||informing,|
|decision-making||initiating action||delegating power||controlling|
|Crawley & Sinclair ||hostility||ignoring/|
|instrumental pragmatism||paternal sponsorship||multi-level interaction||two-way learning||enduring engagement|
|Green & Hunton-Clarke ||informative||consultative||decisional|
|Aslin & Brown ||informing||consulting||involving/participating||engaging|
2.4. Community Engagement for Community Development
2.5. Operationalising Dialogic Community Engagement
3.1. Using Art during the Interview Process
4. Stakeholder Experiences
- formation of the Clermont Community and Business Group (CCBG), aimed at facilitating economic diversification by increasing population, promoting ‘opening’ of new industrial land, seeking external investment, and increasing housing availability and affordability;
- development of an Urban Design Master Plan for Clermont, to be used in planning activities by Council and community organisations;
- launch of Agricultural Studies Department at Clermont State High School (see Figure 5);
- extension to Clermont kindergarten and day-care centre;
- a study to establish the feasibility of a biofuel industry at the Blair Athol site;
- new housing developments, partly to support Rio Tinto’s residential workforce targets;
- work on the Hood’s Lagoon area;
- repainting disused railway carriages depicting Clermont’s industries; and
- work with local businesses to make Capella Street (Clermont’s main street) more visually appealing.
“Even for me, there becomes a blurring of what is what. There are footpaths popping up around town, and I’ve asked the question, and when we can’t think of another answer, we say ‘Oh, that’s probably [an initiative of] Preferred Futures’.” (P15).
“[The CPF Committee] organised the repainting of the trains but community probably doesn’t know this. It would probably be valuable if the community knew we did this because it could create more community cohesiveness.” (P3).
“I don’t fully understand what the roadblocks are—why some projects haven’t been delivered.” (P13).
“Clermont was a town before [Blair Athol] came along, and it was based on the farming. Obviously it wouldn’t be as large, but I think it would still exist, because it is a hub for a massive area... [CPF] has made people not lean on the mine as the answer to all their problems.” (P10).
4.2. Engagement: Communicating a Preferred Future
4.2.1. Communicating CPF Processes and Outcomes
“You would imagine, at the local level, if you’ve got a local initiative, that gives you the greater opportunity to have face-to-face conversations, input and involvement, and it’s quite specific to your community. You can see pretty much immediately the results of your ideas or your suggestions; you might be able to change something.” (P15).
“If there was more awareness across the community [in the vision and CPF processes], there would definitely be an increase in resilience and confidence amongst the community.” (P7).
“It’s hard to promote something without something visual, so I think if people can’t see the finished result, but if they can see a poster or a sign that tells them what it’s going to look like when it’s finished, they can visualise it, and they get excited about what’s coming.” (P13).
4.2.2. Consultation and Participation
“It was through word of mouth, through advertising—that type of thing. So people knew what was happening at the time.” (P12).
“Going to the community and bringing voices back has been a weakness—we could improve on this for sure.” (P7).
“We’ve already consulted the community, so we know what they want.” (P3).
“Some people, you know, you’re just never going to make happy, so you just wink and nod.” (P1).
“Sometimes you have to be quite energetic to ensure that you involve others.” (P15).
“Call us, invite us—come to where the people are... It’s a small town, so it shouldn’t be too hard to gauge, or get some sort of snapshot, of what people think about a certain thing.” (P8).
“People are turned off by Council; they associate it with things not getting done. So if we made it clear that this is a community-owned project that should generate greater interest and engagement.” (P4).
4.3. Inclusivity and Representativeness
4.3.1. Inclusivity of CPF Processes
“We never got anybody that we didn’t tap on the shoulder. Nobody will stand up... We get the people who we think should do a fair job... We’d love to have people from the street, but I know they don’t put up their hands... I would love to have two or three, four or five stand up against me—at least then you know the town wants something done... I didn’t even have to go for re-election; I was automatically, after the due date, reappointed.” (P12).
4.3.2. Representativeness of CPF Committee and CCBG Membership
“The business part should be twice as big and the community part much smaller.” (P13).
“Getting volunteers to do anything in this day and age is just impossible. My ideal situation would be to get rid of 12-hour shifts... That’s what stops people from volunteering—they’re too tired....” (P11).
“A group of businessmen who ... have a vested interest in the economic wellbeing of the community. And there probably is some cynicism there ... that they’re in it to line their own pockets.” (P14).
“I’ve learned that if you can make the town a better place, you get more people in town, which generates more [business].” (P12).
4.4. The Role of Art
“No-one understands what sustainable development is… Help them visualise it… Pictures and images would help community imagine the visions and plan, and to excite them”. (P13).
“It would be great to see a positive future… it would enthuse… people would go ‘yes, this is what we want’.” (P15).
“You’d probably have to ask very specifically about each community... To make something like this work, you’ve got to have a sense of community; you’ve got to have a group of people that want to do the same things, and that love their community... you’ve got to have that drive and passion and energy.” (p16)
5.1. CPF Achievements
5.2. Challenges for CPF
Conflicts of Interest
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Parsons, R.; Lederwasch, A.; Moffat, K. Clermont Preferred Future: Stakeholder Reflections on a Community Foresight and Planning Initiative. Resources 2013, 2, 528-554. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources2040528
Parsons R, Lederwasch A, Moffat K. Clermont Preferred Future: Stakeholder Reflections on a Community Foresight and Planning Initiative. Resources. 2013; 2(4):528-554. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources2040528Chicago/Turabian Style
Parsons, Richard, Aleta Lederwasch, and Kieren Moffat. 2013. "Clermont Preferred Future: Stakeholder Reflections on a Community Foresight and Planning Initiative" Resources 2, no. 4: 528-554. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources2040528