With spring on the way, the thawing of relations between Gloucester Shire Council and AGL appears to have begun. AGL’s executive general manager of stakeholder relations Jeni Coutts met with Gloucester’s mayor John Rosenbaum today with both sides agreeing to schedule a full meeting between senior AGL executives and Gloucester’s councillors on August 26. Up for discussion will be the future of AGL in the Gloucester Dialogue.
“It’s really about how we can move forward and about putting in place our expectations as to how it can work,” said Cr Rosenbaum.
He said his main concern was ensuring AGL and the Dialogue had genuine conversations about what was going on and going to happen, before it came out in the media, so that they had a chance to form a response so that everyone was clear on their position.
“After the meeting, council will discuss what they want to do. If they decide against inviting AGL back into the Dialogue, I think it will be the end of the Dialogue itself,” he said.
Cr Rosenbaum said that he and Ms Coutts touched upon the impact of AGL’s upcoming final decision about whether or not to proceed to Stage One with the Gloucester Gas Project. Media reports have speculated that the decision is expected mid 2016, however a spokesperson for AGL said that no date had been settled upon but it would be “sometime in 2016.”
Responding to further reports about AGL’s ‘legacy’ for Gloucester should the decision not to proceed be made, AGL said it meets with all interested parties surrounding its projects and that it is important to differentiate that any talk of a ‘legacy’ should not just be in terms of ‘if AGL were to leave Gloucester’.
“AGL always has sought to give back to the communities in which it operates, whether that is through local employment, using local suppliers and services or providing funds to worthy projects through the likes of our Local Community Investment Program. We are doing all of that now and that’s already part of our legacy,” Ms Coutts said.
Further reports suggested AGL had applied pressure upon the NSW Government in relation to a policy detail surrounding their operation’s approval.AGL said “since 2009 AGL have worked through a myriad of State and Commonwealth Acts, regulations, policies, rules and Codes of Practice to ensure that our applications … satisfy numerous government approval processes, including a full environmental impact assessment… Fracture stimulating four existing wells is required under our approvals. This is an exploration activity for which a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) is required – not an Environmental Impact Statement. AGL submitted its REF, which is over 1000 pages long, in September 2013.”
“In relation to political donations, in the 2013/14 financial year NSW electoral law set a $5500 cap on donations to individual political parties. AGL did not exceed this and it is incorrect to say that $33,000 was provided to the Coalition. AGL’s policy is to proactively and regularly disclose political donations and declare every donation, not just those that are ‘reportable’.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.