Our small community has been the subject of an University study!
Following the Local Economic Forum held at the Surf Club, the University of the Sunshine Coast was contacted to attain community and visitor attitudes about the current local character to provide data to help inform local community and stakeholder decision-making.
The research was carried out by:
3rd Year Public Participation and Conflict Resolution students from both the Regional and Urban Planning and Environmental Health Degree Programs. The questions were developed by the students. All raw data from this research are included here.
119 electronic surveys were completed
An additional 15 handwritten which were collated and compared to the rest of the data.
Just over a week ago, the students presented their findings in teams of three on the Sunshine Coast University campus.
They discussed their approach, who & how they contacted community stake holders and whether they were effective at getting participation by their selected group.
In their analysis the students commented on how difficult it was to find one effective way of reaching and communicating with everyone in the community in the short time they had.
Feedback the students collected from stakeholders such as the traders included:
'They were happy to know the results were coming back to the community.'
It was interesting to see that the 'Quality of product' is the most influential for consumer behaviour.
It is exciting that 3/4's of those surveys did not believe it was inevitable that larger generic chain stores would move into the town square.
I would like to thank all the students who participated in this project for actually connecting & engaging with our local community, business owners, community group representatives, & potential developers, and for stimulating local thinking and seeking out our unique values.
Hopefully you have strengthened our belief in creating our own unique place, free of cookie cutter commercial & community development.
This data and student analysis will be sent on to our Council and the possible developers of the Bowling Club site to inform them of the findings.