GENUINE engagement is not about simply manipulating a process to give the appearance of consultation so that pre-determined outcomes can be delivered unimpeded.
It's not lip-service to hide a might-is-right attitude or a belief that once an election is done and won a mandate has been secured to allow a government unfettered control.
Genuine engagement accepts there are competing views and priorities and that better outcomes can be achieved by listening to others, testing potential approaches against constructive criticism and being prepared to change an approach to reflect what has been learned.
We have seen a refreshing example of that in the way Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey engaged the community ahead of final design work being done for the $1.1bn Bruce Highway six-lane upgrade and interchanges between the Caloundra turnoff and the Sunshine Motorway.
Mr Bailey has made several visits to the Sunshine Coast to discuss all aspects of the critical piece of transport infrastructure.
He met environmentalists concerned about the impact on endangered coastal rainforest species, with business people about sensible access to the Aussie World precinct and residents about how to keep traffic from an emerging urban zone out of their suburban streets.
People came away from those discussions impressed with the minister's willingness to listen and his apparent grasp of the issues.
Importantly when the final design for project was released it was clear the concerns had been acted upon.
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