March 21, 2024

As a distinguished leader in residential property development, Far East Consortium (FEC) has consistently set itself apart through an unwavering commitment to excellence.

At FEC, we recognise that the true measure of success in our endeavours lies not just in the structures we build, but in the communities we foster. It is with this conviction that we approach each project, understanding that the key to creating thriving and sustainable developments lies in active community engagement.

Community involvement is not a peripheral aspect of our property development process; rather, it is the cornerstone that defines our approach. This commitment reflects our belief that by collaboratively engaging with the people we serve, we not only meet their needs but also elevate the very essence of residential living, resulting in developments that stand as paragons of excellence.

What is Community Engagement?

Community engagement in property development refers to the process of involving and interacting with the local community affected by or interested in a development project. It is a proactive approach that seeks to incorporate community input, concerns, and aspirations into the decision-making process. 

Effective community engagement fosters a sense of shared responsibility and ensures that the development aligns with the needs and preferences of the community. This can include activities such as public consultations, workshops, information sessions, and ongoing dialogue to build relationships and trust between developers and the community.

Community engagement takes on three main forms: informing, consulting, and collaborating. Let’s take a closer look at how they differ:

  • Informing:
    • Nature: One-way communication where developers share information with the community.
    • Purpose: To keep the community informed about the project, its objectives, and potential impacts.
    • Example: Distributing newsletters, posting project updates online, or hosting informational sessions. 
  • Consulting:
    • Nature: Two-way communication involving seeking feedback and input from the community.
    • Purpose: To gather community opinions, concerns, and suggestions, allowing them to have a say in the decision-making process.
    • Example: Conducting public meetings, surveys, or focus groups to collect community perspectives on specific aspects of the project. 
  • Collaborating:
    • Nature: Working together with the community to develop solutions and make decisions collectively.
    • Purpose: To actively involve the community in co-creating aspects of the project, fostering a sense of shared ownership and responsibility.
    • Example: Establishing joint committees, workshops, or collaborative design sessions where community members work alongside developers to shape the project.

Benefits of Community Engagement

For the Community

Increased sense of ownership and belonging in the development:

Engaging the community in the development process fosters a sense of ownership and belonging. When residents feel their input is valued and considered, they are more likely to develop a positive connection to the project. This sense of ownership can lead to greater community pride and a willingness to actively contribute to the success of the development.

Improved understanding of the project’s impact on the neighbourhood:

Community engagement provides residents with the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of how a development will impact their neighbourhood. Transparent communication and open dialogue help demystify the project, ensuring that residents are well-informed about potential changes, benefits, and challenges. This clarity can alleviate concerns and build trust between the community and developers.

Opportunity to voice concerns and propose solutions:

Effective community engagement creates a platform for residents to voice their concerns and offer valuable insights. By providing avenues for community input, developers can address specific issues raised by residents and work collaboratively to find solutions. This not only enhances the development’s overall quality but also demonstrates a commitment to responsiveness and inclusivity.

For the Developer:

Identification of local needs and preferences:

Engaging with the community allows developers to gain firsthand insights into local needs, preferences, and priorities. This information is invaluable in tailoring the development to align with the community’s unique character and requirements. Developers can adjust plans, amenities, and design elements to better suit the preferences of the local population, enhancing the project’s market appeal.

Mitigating potential conflicts through early communication:

Community engagement enables developers to identify potential conflicts or concerns early in the planning stages. By addressing these issues proactively, developers can mitigate the risk of disputes and opposition later in the project timeline. Open and transparent communication builds trust, reducing the likelihood of legal or regulatory challenges that may arise when community concerns are not adequately addressed.

Creating a more sustainable and desirable development:

Collaborating with the community fosters a sense of shared responsibility for the project’s success. Developers can leverage community insights to create a more sustainable and desirable development that aligns with the values and aspirations of the local residents. This collaborative approach often results in projects that are well-integrated into the community fabric, contributing positively to the overall urban environment.

Our Commitment to Community Engagement: Far East Consortium

Far East Consortium, in conjunction with its joint venture partners and relevant stakeholders place great emphasis on community engagement during the planning phase of any development we undertake.

A good example of this, is the range of community engagement activities undertaken surrounding Queen’s Wharf Brisbane

In 2016, before any construction work began on Queen’s Wharf, our delivery partner, Destination Brisbane Consortium, undertook a community sentiment survey to create a baseline for measuring community views over time. Each year they conduct the same survey to measure any change in community views and help us identify areas of interest to the community.

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane and The Star Brisbane also partnered with a range of community events and brands including the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols, Brisbane Festival, Brisbane Racing Carnival, Brisbane Fashion Festival and the Brisbane Broncos.

Community consultations have included, but not limited to:

  • online surveys
  • community reference groups
  • formal public consultations
  • industry engagement with key property, heritage and development bodies
  • interactive workshops
  • regional showcase
  • social media
  • monthly newsletters

Read about the activities and timeline in more detail here.

A big proportion of feedback garnered from the community engagement activities was the desire for the revitalisation of the area, that included opportunities for the general public to access shared spaces.

In response, the new development will celebrate Brisbane’s outdoor lifestyle and maximise the city’s amazing subtropical climate and 300-plus days of sunshine every year.

The precinct will feature 7.5 hectares of public space including newly created parkland, upgraded riverfront access and the iconic Sky Deck and an elevated Leisure Deck on Level 7 of the resort that includes green space and resort facilities.

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will also support a range of outdoor activities including exercising, cycling, running and kayaking.

Across the entire development, there are several spaces that have been designed for use individually or as an extended space that links together to support major events and festivals.

Building a Better Future, Together

The success of property development is intrinsically tied to community engagement, a principle that Far East Consortium proudly upholds in its projects. Our commitment to collaboration with local communities ensures that our developments not only meet the highest standards but also resonate with the unique needs and preferences of the people they serve.

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane stands as a testament to our dedication to community engagement. Before even breaking ground, we actively sought the opinions of the community through surveys, consultations, and engagement activities. This ongoing dialogue has allowed us to understand the sentiments of the residents and address their concerns throughout the development process.

As we reflect on the benefits of community engagement outlined in the earlier discussion—increased sense of ownership, improved understanding, and the opportunity for residents to voice concerns and propose solutions—it becomes evident that these principles are not just aspirations for Far East Consortium but integral components of our development philosophy.

Our commitment to community engagement is not a mere checkbox in the development process; it is a core value that drives us to create thriving communities. By actively involving residents in the decision-making process, we identify local needs, mitigate conflicts, and contribute to the sustainability and desirability of the developments.

We invite you, our valued community members, to participate in future community engagement opportunities. Your input is invaluable in shaping the vibrant neighbourhoods we aim to create. Whether through surveys, workshops, or public consultations, your voice matters in crafting developments that stand as pillars of excellence in residential property.