The expansion of the Port of Hastings is a key commitment of the Victorian Government to meet the growing demand for freight services in Victoria and offset the capacity constraints at the Port of Melbourne.
In April 2013, the Victorian government pledged $110 million over four years to progress planning for the port’s expansion and to obtain all necessary planning and environment approvals. The Port of Hastings Development Authority (PoHDA) was established to guide the planning and delivery of the Port of Hastings over the next 10-15 years with legislated mandate from Government and under an independent board.
RPS was engaged by PoHDA during the early planning stages of the project to provide strategic communications and community and stakeholder engagement advice. We worked closely with the acting CEO and the Board to provide issues management advice, media management advice and strategic communications planning to enable the PoHDA to begin positioning the project in the local Hastings community, the wider Victorian community, industry and Victorian Government.
These services were complemented by a community and stakeholder engagement strategy that was designed to mitigate project risk from community backlash, while at the same time building support and third party advocacy for the project and the potential economic benefits it will realize for the local Hastings community and the State.