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Community
AGL Energy Limited 34
Community engagement
Introduction to community engagement
AGL has long recognised that to achieve or maintain a
social licence to operate it must engage constructively
with communities and all our stakeholders.
Approach
AGL’s capability to deliver new renewable energy and upstream gas
projects is dependent on AGL adopting a sustainable project delivery
model whereby new projects deliver economic benefit to both AGL
and the community. To this end, AGL understands that genuine
engagement with stakeholders is essential for achieving sustainable
development. As AGL continues to develop new power generation
and coal seam gas production projects, we have an increasing
physical footprint and presence in the community. Communities
adjacent to AGL projects, and the broader community generally,
understandably have views and questions about how AGL’s activities
may interact with their way of life, their livelihoods and their local
environment.
AGL is committed to listening and providing comprehensive
and accurate information to communities, as well as facilitating
adequate opportunities for communities to give feedback and raise
concerns. Community engagement mechanisms employed by AGL
include community meetings, community consultative committees,
newsletters and factsheets, websites/micro-sites, stalls and displays
at community events, dedicated information centres, site visits,
briefings and workshops.
AGL also supports regional communities, creates employment
opportunities, provides facilities and enhances existing services,
including health, education and welfare, through contributions to
local, regional and national economies. To complement engagement
with the regional communities in which AGL owns and/or operates
assets, AGL’s
Energy for Life
program seeks to make a genuine
contribution to the wider community (page 44).
Vision for community engagement:
AGL’s vision is to achieve
best practice local community engagement.
Drivers:
Listening, understanding and responding to community
concerns, effective communication and constructive community
engagement across all Power Development projects (page 35) and
Upstream Gas projects (page 38) are essential for maintaining AGL’s
social licence to operate.
Performance
Community engagement plans are in place for all coal seam gas
projects and all power development projects. The community
engagement plans outline community engagement activities,
define AGL’s community engagement goals, and allow the tracking
and measurement of success.
In early 2012, AGL committed additional resources to meet the
growing needs of community engagement. A number of new
community relations positions have been created in Upstream
Gas and Power Development.
Dedicated resources in the form of Community Relations Managers
have been allocated to the Hunter, Gloucester and Camden
Upstream Gas projects. This additional resourcing will further
improve AGL’s approach to community engagement.
Three new community consultative committees have also been
established – two for power development projects and one for
the Newcastle Gas Storage Facility Project in New South Wales.
The Safety, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee,
a sub-committee of the AGL Board, which meets quarterly, visits
AGL’s operational and development sites to understand in greater
detail the views of the local communities.