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Mandurah Line opening wins national PR award for PTA

14/10/2008

The Public Transport Authority has won another Mandurah Line-related national award.

The latest accolade, a Public Relations Institute of Australia Golden Target, was presented to the PTA’s Corporate Communication team for its work in organising the event to mark the official opening of the Mandurah Line on December 23 last year.

Presentation of the Golden Target awards – designed to recognise excellence, best practice and professionalism in public relations – is a highlight of the PRIA’s annual national conference, being held this year at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle.

The PTA was a Golden Target finalist in two sections, Special Event/ Observance and Community Relations (also for work surrounding the Mandurah Line), after winning state awards in these two categories at a PRIAWA function two weeks earlier.

Another PTA entry – The Shutdown, relating to the seven-day closure of the Fremantle Line and part of the Joondalup Line in October last year – was highly commended in the state awards.

PTA CEO Reece Waldock said today that he was delighted his communications team had been recognised by their peers for their excellent work at both state and national level.
 
“Construction of the Mandurah Line was a very significant achievement for WA and we considered it important that the opening event be a genuine celebration for all the stakeholders, particularly the community in general and the southern suburbs in particular,” Mr Waldock said.

“The communications team delivered exactly what we were looking for – a joyful occasion that was embraced enthusiastically by the community, especially those along the line.”

“Importantly, patronage figures have already matched predictions, which reflects the strong support that was generated for the project.”

Commenting on the other state awards, Mr Waldock said that working effectively with and gaining the support of the communities who would ultimately benefit from the Mandurah Line was an essential part of the project.
 
“Despite the project functioning in a climate of intense scrutiny and occasionally trenchant criticism, regular survey showed that public support ranged averaged between 80 and 85 per cent, peaking at 92 per cent in May 2007.

“The final survey was conducted in March this year, three months after the line opened, and it came back at 96 per cent.

“The Shutdown, which took place at this time last year, was a major communications challenge for our team because tens of thousands of commuters were affected for a full week.  The fact that it was completed with so little real disruption is a testament to their efforts.

“My congratulations go to the whole team, both past and present members,” he said.

The Golden Target and the three state PRIA awards add to the swag of honours the PTA has already taken out for the Mandurah Line in a range of disciplines including engineering, safety, project management, the environment, concrete and planning.

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