Kalbar Conversations Column

Listening to the Community

   Wednesday 1st July, 2020

Community consultation is a vital part of any business activity. Through consultation, businesses, governments, and community interests are able to connect, share their views and resolve issues.

Community consultation is not a simple process. There are many different interests in the community, and it is almost impossible to find out what the community thinks, without looking more closely at what makes up the community.

We all have different views. Everyone’s views are important.

Kalbar has adopted the principles and processes of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) in our community engagement over the past four years.

Through our community consultation plan, Kalbar has found that different methods of consultation bring out different views – for, against, and impartial to the Fingerboards Project.

Over the past four years, we have held more than 15 community meetings and drop-in sessions, provided more than 40 briefings, published information brochures, presentations and issued media releases. We have also attended community events where we have been able to consult with the whole community.

We respect the views of opponents of the project who have been able to speak at public meetings.

Other members of the community have different views. We often meet with community members who recognise the opportunities provided by the Fingerboards Project, respect the scientific evidence, and understand the comprehensive environmental assessment process.

Through our discussions with landowners, community groups, service clubs, business and industry bodies, we have heard the broader community’s views about the Fingerboards Project.

The next stage of community consultation (public exhibition of the Environment Effects Statement (EES)) will provide more information to the community and other stakeholders to assist everyone in commenting on the EES.

Our consultation will include meetings with key stakeholders, additional community information sessions (which will be held on-line due to COVID-19 restrictions), publishing information in local print media, and providing regular updates to the project website.

Kalbar will maintain its strong commitment to investing time and effort engaging with our East Gippsland community. We understand the importance of hearing and responding to your views.

Community consultation is important. We know that there are many different views in our community and we want to hear from everyone.

Kalbar Operations Pty Ltd

Vesna Rendulic - Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Specialist