Gladstone Industry Leadership Group

Working together responsibly to improve the quality of our air 2007 - 2009

Katherine Teh-White

Managing Director

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The brief:

There are concerns in the Gladstone community about public health issues linked to industrial emissions, ranging from asthma to still births and cancer. In order to investigate the health concerns in detail, the Queensland State Government initiated a “Clean and Healthy Air for Gladstone” study, one of the most significant health studies conducted in Australia. Five key companies, representing major industry in Gladstone commissioned Futureye to develop a regional strategy and implementation plan to address the community’s concerns.

"Before Futureye’s involvement, Gladstone industries were each separately grappling with a myriad of societal, environmental and economic development issues. While each industry was striving to improve their performance and be more mindful of our community’s social and environmental concerns, these individual efforts were lost competing for the attention of the Gladstone community. Based upon Futureye’s thorough research and analysis and creative solution processes, the Gladstone Industry Leadership Group was established as an industry forum to jointly respond to these issues in a systematic manner. Our Group includes five of Gladstone’s major industries and has set a new benchmark for acceptable industrial behaviour, has aligned community engagement approaches and taken mutual support between industries to heights. On a personal note, the thought of a media interview previously filled me with dread. Having worked through the issues, designed a strategy and commenced its implementation and formed a communications approach, I now think, Bring it on! We’ve got a great story to tell.”

Kurt Heidecker, GILG CEO Gladstone Industry Leadership Group

The result:

Activists and key stakeholders wanted industry to provide a collective response that was more transparent, engaging and accountable. This was delivered and resulted in community concern reducing from 75% to 22% within an 18 month period. Futureye’s work in Gladstone included a new engagement model, new communication approach and new structures such as the creation of a vehicle for the industry to work together to address Gladstone-wide issues. Futureye worked with the new entity called GILG to build their capacity to transparently respond to issues of concern. There is a GILG website which has information on industry practice (e.g. industry licenses, plain-English explanations and FAQs) as well as an interactive space for individuals to discuss issues and post questions. The GILG Board and members of the advisory committees are committed to working with GILG to enact change at their own sites and across the region. We worked with the community to engage on a future vision, we developed an innovation program that was rolled out through 5 major industrial sites that included employee engagement.

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