Planning creates great places for people to live, work and play. To encourage genuine community engagement in the planning process, the Queensland Government produced this toolkit to help local councils engage with their communities about planning in a meaningful and open manner. The toolkit has was developed with advice from community engagement specialists and their peak representative body – the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2). IAP2 has endorsed the toolkit.
Why is this useful for rural and remote people to read?
The majority of people who live in Queensland live in rural and regional areas. That is why Queensland is generally the best at the co-design and delivery of health and hospital services to meet the needs of rural and remote people. In Queensland, for example, 65% of James Cook University's medical graduates go into rural and remote towns, whereas the figure in other States in between 2-5%. This document is useful because it shows that rural health solutions can be delivered in rural and remote towns when governments have the motivation to do so. The first port of call of course is talking with communities to get their views on issues, priorities and solutions. This Guide to Community Engagement is a very useful resource for communities to use when planning, but could also be used by communities to advocate to local health services and governments to establish a standard for consultation that ensures that rural and remote people are properly engaged in decision-making rather than an after-thought (or as is so often the case, not at all).
RURAL HEALTH SYSTEM REFORM
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