Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Ambre's Letters Ignite Furore

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Ambre's Letters Ignite Furore

Article excerpt

A FEW weeks ago the good people of Felton started receiving letters from the resource company Ambre Fuels.

The letter invited them to participate in a process which would assess the C[pounds sterling]social licenceC[yen] for a coal mine and coal to liquid project to be established in the Felton Valley.

Many readers may recall that in the lead up to the recent state election the LNP pledged that if elected the Ambre Felton project would not be going ahead.

True to their word a number of public announcements from the state government have established that the Felton Coal to Liquid project does not have a future.

Yesterday's letters page featured a letter from local MP Ray Hopper spelling out clearly the position of the LNP.

Curious then that Ambre's CEO of fuels, David Henderson should be reported as confident that a C[pounds sterling]social licence to operateC[yen] could be won after identifying and addressing community concerns. Am I missing something here? Or is this the sound of one hand clapping?

The term C[pounds sterling]social licenceC[yen] comes from the warmer and fuzzier side of the mining industry and is supposed to demonstrate broad community support for a project.

Last year Katherine Teh-White, managing director of Future Eye Co a Melbourne based consultancy company wrote, C[pounds sterling]This social licence to operate is not simply a PR exercise. It's a commercial decision and, increasingly, boards are demanding that their CEOs implement such a programC*.C[yen]

In the same article Ms Teh-White acknowledged that mining companies were no longer being opposed by just hippies and radicals.

She referred to the Felton Valley stating that the farmers were protesting against plans by Shenhuo International Group to mine the deep, rich alluvial black soil, including stretches of the Condamine River and Thanes Creek. …

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