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Geelong Advertiser (Australia): Panel to help Shell do `a better job’

Geelong Advertiser (Australia): Panel to help Shell do `a better job’

“SHELL Geelong will set up a new “expertise-based” community advisory panel, after acknowledging the refinery had failed to meet public expectations.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Geelong Advertiser

SHELL Geelong will set up a new “expertise-based” community advisory panel, after acknowledging the refinery had failed to meet public expectations.

Geelong refinery manager Geoff Ellison said Shell accepted community expectations of the refinery’s performance had not been met, but was “committed to addressing these concerns in the context of a broader consultation and engagement program”.

Mr Ellison said he wanted Shell to play a more active role in the community to address “key stakeholder issues”.

The refinery expects to finalise the panel in the next two weeks. Members will be selected from yet-to-be-selected organisations to replace Shell’s community liaison and environmental improvement plan working groups.

“The new structure will tap into the huge amount of local expertise and knowledge to enable Shell to do a better job,” Mr Ellison said.

He also announced Shell’s participation in the Neighbourhood Renewal Program co-ordinated by the Department of Human Services, which involves the State Government, local business, support agencies and residents to develop stronger communities.

Member of both Shell’s former community groups Sue McLean welcomed the neighbourhood renewal program but remained cynical the refinery would improve its poor environmental record.

“It seems to me like it’s more about social investment rather than environmental improvement and the two are very different, but they are trying to mess them,” Ms McLean said.

She said Shell had cancelled all working group meetings since June and community group meetings since last month.

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