Problem solving +
We are experts in solving problems and developing meaningful strategies to drive change in regional areas.
Our approach is centred on deep listening and critical thinking. We have a knack for connecting dots and expressing ideas clearly.
We get called in to work out a way forward when people are stuck, a project is bogged down or a fresh set of eyes is needed to move things forward.
If you’d like to know more, we’d love to talk.
Our track record
We’ve applied our skills to a diverse range of problems in regional areas covering issues in land use planning, recreation and open space, tourism, economic development, community recovery and resilience.
Our projects cover strategy and policy engagements, business planning, grant writing, land management, social and economic assessments, workplace and governance reviews and conflict resolution.
Locale worked with the Bundanon Trust for several years to secure more than $30 million for the Riversdale cultural facility on the banks of the Shoalhaven River. We facilitated a master plan DA approval and were successful in securing an initial $8.6 million for the project including the business case. Subsequent commitments saw the project completed in 2022. It is now a key cultural facility for the NSW South Coast.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Locale was engaged by Coffs Harbour City Council to assist in preparing a response and recovery plan. We worked closely with an Internal Working Group to establish the direction for the plan. We also designed and facilitated three online roundtables with key community, business and social services stakeholders to capture ideas and establish directions that were subsequently adopted by Council.
Following the devastating floods of early 2022, Locale worked with Council to develop a discussion paper, undertake comprehensive consultation and establish a findings report to understand and respond to community needs around long-term planning. The project sought to uncover difficult to reach community views during a period of uncertainty and high emotion.
As the leading cemetery strategy advisor for regional councils in NSW, Locale have delivered more than a dozen cemetery strategies and related projects. The MidCoast project involves 34 cemeteries, across three former local government areas. Starting with an overarching strategy, the project includes maintenance and operational documents aimed at ensuring consistency and meeting newly introduced standards.
Locale have completed a series of projects for this community facility and tourism attraction in Huskisson. We initially developed a business plan and long-term concept plans for the site, then a Plan of Management and detailed concepts for landscape and open space improvements. Our work in community facilities aims to maximise use from a range of activities, whilst harnessing community benefits and establishing greater sustainability.
Locale have worked with a range of council waste services areas. With this project, we worked with Council staff to develop a business case that demonstrated the tangible and intangible benefits of a dedicated waste education facility. We used standardised templates for the NSW Government that we adjust for greater impact and to highlight the key parts of projects – resulting in our strong record of grant application success.
Locale developed an NSW industry-wide Cemetery Maintenance Guide that provides practical application of simple principles to assist the industry to improve the quality and safety of their cemetery sites. The Guide identifies 10 maintenance themes, establishing examples of opportunities to improve through a range of cemetery sizes. It provides a basis for maintenance requirements which are part of the NSW Interment Industry Scheme.
Using our in-depth understanding of the NSW land-use planning system, we have worked over a number of years with DSSS to first understand the barriers to agritourism and to then develop balanced and informed responses. The project involved assisting DSSS with representations to ministers, the Department of Planning, and once traction was gained, providing education and advice to the broader Destination Networks.
Locale provided governance and project advice to Council on the potential formation of a not for profit entity to deliver community services including aged care. We subsequently prepared the tender documentation to enable Council to divest these services and transfer them to an existing community service provider.
Locale has been engaged to assess workplace teams to map and understand the causes of conflict in order to address dysfunction and disharmony, including practical and actionable recommendations. We have also undertaken workplace and public mediations to restore and enhance working relationships within large organisations, small teams and the community.
Locale undertook a high-level strategic review of Kempsey Shire Council’s four public swimming pool facilities. This considered key indicators for the pools, consulting via survey and targeted discussions to inform future directions that met both Council and community needs. High costs, ageing facilities and changing community preferences all highlighted the need for change. The Strategy set the direction for the next 5-10 years.
Locale assisted Byron Shire Council to develop and implement a comprehensive engagement process to support the preparation of its Dogs in Public Space Strategy. The provision of off-leash and dog prohibited areas is often controversial in any local government setting and involves balancing competing interests. Our careful and thoughtful engagement approach resulted in a balanced Strategy outcome.
Following Locale preparing a number of sector strategies and business plans for Council’s Economic Development Unit, we were invited to prepare its Economic Development Strategy. This brought together a range of imperatives for how Council interacts with its business community and progresses sustainable, diverse employment opportunities. We also completed an Export Strategy and have assisted in planning for Council’s industrial land portfolio.
Locale was engaged by Kempsey Shire Council to undertake consultation and advise on the social and economic benefits of annual licence sites. These sites, commonly known as ‘holiday vans’, are important to many regional towns and provide a steady income to caravan parks. But they also lock-up public land to those licence owners and can restrict access to tourists, meaning that a careful balance is needed.
Locale was engaged by Byron Shire Council to prepare a Housing Options Paper. This outlines how Council will facilitate the supply of housing in the Shire over the next 20 years. The Paper considered recent changes to NSW Government policy as well as the impacts from the 2022 floods. We facilitated several information sessions with the community and reviewed the submissions in a high-level engagement report.
“The strategic plan that Locale completed has been pivotal in supporting our endeavours. We are in essence, gradually making progress through the targets.”
“Locale did a brilliant job of coalescing complex matters into a straightforward document – that we can now use to drive projects and respond to funding opportunities for the Bay & Basin over the next 20 years.”
“The comprehensive process used by Locale highlighted to Council the extent of effort that is needed to be successful in obtaining substantial grant funding. This is clearly the level of detail that the State and Federal Governments are after, and we are very appreciative of Locale’s efforts in pulling together our successful application for the Woodburn Riverside project.”