The Spit master plan

The future of the Southport Spit (The Spit) was a source of tension over recent decades, with conflicting views among community, residents, industry and business groups resulting in no clear direction for its future.

The Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning engaged Articulous to deliver communications and engagement strategy for the high-profile Spit Masterplan project on the Gold Coast.

The project involved multiple stakeholders with conflicting views and complex needs, and strict timeframes for delivery. Articulous was able to effectively manage the needs of different stakeholders, while under time pressure on a contentious and complex project.

Articulous developed and delivered a robust communication and engagement strategy, including:

  • Providing strategic direction on communicating to broad stakeholder groups, including residents, business, local and state government representatives.
  • Developing communication and engagement tactics that are broad reaching, easy to access, inviting to people of all ages and meet the objectives of the Department in helping to develop the Masterplan options.
  • Using digital techniques to capture people’s interest and imagination, such as the Spirit of the Spit video and photo competition, creative branding for materials, web content and online social mapping and feedback.

The strategy included delivering the full range of social media, media, advertising, online and video activities and materials. We also developed a unique online survey that captured more than 20,000 feedback responses on more than 100 ideas.

As a result of the engagement and communication strategy, more than 31,000 people were informed about the plan, generating over 23,000 pieces of survey feedback.

The strategy also helped to create consensus and a unified vision for an area previously a source of considerable conflict. The project received the Planning Institute of Australia’s Queensland 2019 Overall Award for best community engagement.