Water Journal : Water Journal September 2015
september 2015 water 35 Feature article e ffective stakeholder engagement throughout infrastructure projects has a positive outcome for companies and the community. The South West Priority Growth Area Wastewater Servicing Project is an example of how stakeholder engagement can maintain the reputation of companies such as Sydney Water and meet the needs of the communities they service. Early stakeholder engagement saved Sydney Water time and money. It resulted in robust designs, a more efficient delivery timetable, and fewer repeat disturbances to the community. New South Wales’ population is rapidly growing and is expected to reach over eight million by 2030. A significant portion of this population will reside in Sydney’s North West and South West Priority Growth Areas. Sydney Water provides and extends water, wastewater, recycled water and some stormwater services for Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. The South West Priority Growth Area Wastewater Servicing Project will provide wastewater infrastructure for the precincts of East Leppington, Leppington North and Leppington. These rural and semi-rural areas will see significant change in coming years. In late 2012, Sydney Water engaged GHD to complete the first phase of wastewater planning, including stakeholder engagement as part of an integrated project team. GHD’s work continued as part of a joint venture with Jacobs (formerly SKM) as ENSure. Existing long-term landowners, residents and businesses needed clear information and an approach sensitive to the rapid change affecting their community. The work directly affected 54 privately owned properties and hundreds of neighbouring properties. Thirty- five properties owned by government agencies were also affected, including those reserved for future transport projects, drainage and parks. Community and stakeholder engagement was a critical element of the process. ENSure and Sydney Water worked together to involve government agencies, local councils, the community and the private sector. Benefits for the coMMunitY ENSure and Sydney Water built trusting relationships during the life of the project. A core and consistent staff group worked on the project, allowing stakeholders and the project team to effectively negotiate outcomes. Early and proactive engagement with other government agencies fostered collaboration, and the resulting ‘one voice’ from government was much appreciated by the affected landowners. Stakeholder engagement objectives across the life of the project included: • Building and maintaining relationships of trust and confidence with stakeholders and involving government agencies in decisions about the placement of wastewater infrastructure; • Developing community and stakeholder understanding of the aspects of the project that could be negotiated as well as those that were non-negotiable; • Keeping identified stakeholders informed of project developments and providing clear, consistent and timely information to those involved in the decision-making process; • Informing landowners and business owners about any investigations and construction occurring on or near their property; • Resolving conflict between future development opportunities, as well as the timing and location of other infrastructure including road widening, energy and rail infrastructure. The engagement approach targeted two groups of stakeholders: state and local government agencies; and landowners and occupiers. ENSure and Sydney Water focused on early, regular face-to-face engagement to understand and address the interests, needs and concerns of stakeholders and landowners. This was done continually as designs were prepared, refined and finalised. The project team engaged with stakeholders to achieve robust designs, a more efficient delivery timetable, fewer repeat disturbances to the community, and reduced vegetation loss. STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE – SOUTH WEST PRIORITY GROWTH AREA WASTEWATER SERVICING PROJECT Michael Robertson and Gina Newling discuss how positive community engagement has beneficial outcomes for companies and the public alike. PiPes anD PuMPs facts 8km trunk gravity wastewater mains – in 3 carriers: • DN375 – DN525 polypropylene, polyethylene and steel • 4–8 m deep • Cast in-situ maintenance holes 5km Pressure wastewater mains – 2 mains: • OD355 and OD500 • Polyethylene Pipelines trenchless under major roads and South West Rail Link, Eastern Gas Pipeline and major water canal. Two wastewater pumping stations: • ID5000 wet well, 11.5m deep • Duty/standby submersible pumps 254 L/s @ 36m • ID3600 wet well, 8.6m deep • Duty/standby submersible pumps 100 L/s @ 56m Wastewater mains were bored and drilled under major roads.
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