JTA's skills are demonstrated through the work done over several years on the high-profile $20billion Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas (GLNG) project. JTA delivered communication and consultation services during the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) phase of the most complex infrastructure project in Queensland's history and then worked on other stages of the project.
Each project area (extracting coal seam gas from Santos' reserves in and around the Surat and Bowen Basin gas fields, constructing a 435km pipeline to Gladstone and a liquefaction facility at Curtis Island off Gladstone) could have required an EIS in its own right because of the community impacts and complexity of issues.
Each geographic location has its own stakeholders, issues and concerns and local networks. In response, JTA developed customised strategies to engage and inform communities that reflected their desired level of involvement and preferred means of receiving project information.
JTA faced a number of unique challenges. Coal seam gas was then a new industry to the east coast of Australia. While the economic benefits to the state and local economies may be considerable, so is the range of community concerns and issues stemming from perceived project risks and potential environmental implications.
JTA identified the need for community education and awareness of liquefied natural gas to address concerns and misconceptions and enable an effective EIS consultation process., Working closely with Santos staff to address issues on a community-by-community basis, JTA implemented project communication and consultation activities that reached an estimated 180,000 stakeholders.
These activities ranged from targeted one-on-one briefings, issue-specific workshops, community information sessions and meetings, to mass communication activities such as fact sheets, newsletters, advertising, web text, direct mail, events and sponsorship management. The program maximised project awareness and opportunities for stakeholder input.
The GLNG project met all government requirements and the liquefaction plant has now been operating for several years.
The community consultation component of the Brisbane Urban Corridor (BUC) Traffic Planning Study set a benchmark in its field. Taking an unusual 'blank page' approach with no specific outcomes in mind, the then Queensland Department of Main Roads and the Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services asked JTA to engage a large part of the Brisbane community south of the river and invite their input into local and overall traffic solutions for BUC. This 11km stretch of the National Highway links Brisbane's south-eastern and south-western motorways, between Ipswich and Gateway motorways. The vital BUC transport corridor passes through heavily concentrated residential, retail, commercial and industrial suburbs. Heavy traffic and congestion along the corridor were impacting on quality of life – on pedestrian and motoring safety, noise levels, the environment and residential amenity and health. JTA gathered public opinion and suggestions through a consultation program with more than 40 community meetings, 100 key stakeholder meetings, 250 community member interviews, two community representative forums and a comprehensive public awareness program. Input from communities and stakeholders was high and JTA maintained interest and engagement in the process despite the challenges and stresses for the participants. In summary, JTA neutralised pre-existing community and political ill-will and engaged, educated and assisted the community develop realistic solutions.
JTA was engaged by the AGL Petronas Consortium (APC) to conduct community consultation as part of the environmental impact assessment process for the Australian pipeline portion of the proposed PNG Gas Project.
The proposed $3 billion project of about 3,800km of pipelines, including 650km subsea, in Queensland and the Northern Territory was to link Australian gas consumers to natural gas reserves in Papua New Guinea.
JTA consulted with a broad range of stakeholders including local, state, territory and federal governments, business groups, property owners, environmental organisations and local economic development bodies (and some Indigenous communities) from Darwin and Gove in the Northern Territory to Weipa, Cairns and Townsville in North Queensland and west to outback communities like Windorah and Longreach in central and southern Queensland.
Our extensive community engagement program assisted APC to identify and assess the many environmental and social issues required for Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for both the Ballera (Qld) and Gove (NT) pipelines.
The program involved a range of activities including workshops with community leaders and residents in all major cities and towns plus several outback communities including Barcaldine,Charters Towers, Aramac, Quilpie and Gove.
A travelling display showing proposed pipeline routes and key project facts accompanied two 'road shows' featuring senior corporate spokesmen and organised and facilitated by JTA. This gave participants an opportunity to speak directly to APC representatives and specialists about the proposal and associated concerns. All workshops and community forums in these centres were well attended and generated valuable feedback.
Running in tandem with the road shows was a media awareness program to encourage submissions from all interested people (managed by JTA) and an Indigenous consultation program (managed by APC).
Together with the face-to-face approach implemented through the workshops and forums, these associated programs generated widespread enquiries and public input to the EIS process. All input (apart from that gathered in Indigenous communities) was received via a JTA-managed special freecall 1800 telephone line, email, freepost mail service and comprehensive database.
The consultation process showed broad support for the pipeline project and strong cooperation from affected non-Indigenous landowners.
However, the project was eventually shelved. This was a commercial decision and not linked to the results of the consultation process.
JTA delivered engagement, consultation and communication services for Shaw River Power Station Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Santos Ltd, proposing a major gas-fired power station in a pristine tourist and dairy area near Orford in south-western Victoria.
A range of individuals, groups and organisations was consulted as part of the environmental assessment process. Key stakeholders included affected landowners, the offices of state and federal elected representatives, regulatory bodies, local council officials and other stakeholders (e.g. business organisations, peak agricultural and pastoral associations, social welfare networks, members of environmental groups).
Additional consultation with federal, state and local government elected representatives, senior officials, landowners and Indigenous communities was conducted by the Shaw River Power project team.
Participation and inclusiveness were demonstrated through the range of consultation and engagement methods JTA tailored to specific groups.
We disseminated information and collected community views using proven tools and methods including an 1800 freecall telephone service, project email address and dedicated website, freepost service, staffed and static display banners, have your say forms, public displays, information sessions, information bulletins, project updates, a Frequently Asked Questions publication and broadcast and print media.
The first round of community consultation events was conducted in 2008 for people in Orford, Port Fairy, Koroit, Warrnambool, Wangoom, Naringal, Nullaware, Macarthur, Mailors Flat and Port Campbell.
Although feedback was mostly positive, responses to concerns about noise and air emissions were incorporated and presented during the second round of community engagement in 2009, along with results of specialist environmental studies.
A third round of consultation was held in March 2010.
JTA managed a rigorous and thorough engagement process which enabled the client to understand what resonates with local communities and to fulfil its regulatory obligations relating to consultation during an environmental assessment process.
The level and quality of stakeholder and community participation reflects the strong interest and concerns these groups and individuals have for their local communities
All stakeholder feedback was recorded and addressed throughout the impact assessment phase, and approval was obtained for the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) from the Victorian Government in November 2010.
The $2.4 billion Western Corridor Recycled Water (WCRW) project demonstrates JTA's water industry knowledge and our ability to manage complex projects and deliver quality engagement outcomes.
In late 2006, JTA was commissioned to deliver consultation and communication services for Australia's largest recycled water project, WCRW.
The 200km pipeline project included three advanced water treatment plants in South East Queensland. A large proportion of this construction activity was in populated suburbs of Brisbane and Ipswich, often impacting residences and businesses.
This project was unique as it had to be brought on line quickly due to a critical water shortage facing the region in 2006-07.
Unusually and contentiously, design paralleled construction. At the same time, the community, elected representatives (98 in total), impacted landowners and other stakeholders needed to be informed, consulted (with respect to very limited options on pipeline routes, hours of construction work and other operational matters) and brought along on the journey with minimum stress and disruption.
A positive outcome could be achieved only through the optimal management of, and liaison with, alliance teams and project engineers whose objectives and contractual targets often ran counter to community, environmental and political imperatives.
JTA's work involved rapidly developing an understanding of the industry, stakeholder issues and expectations, and delivering a raft of targeted communications on a sensitive topic to project stakeholders in a short timeframe.
At the same time, JTA was also required to manage and advise on the communication and consultation activities being conducted by five separate alliance teams. Regular meetings, weekly/daily contact and quality control protocols such as a publications-approval process were put in place.
More than 200 community-related letters and other documents were submitted for government approval and the average government approval turnaround time was two days.
More than 100 WCRW project Weekly Updates were distributed during the construction phase, to more than 150 people associated with the project. These proved to be a valuable reporting tool for ministerial and MP briefings, and informed responses to stakeholders and the media.
PO Box 81, Hamilton Qld 4007 Australia
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