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Rebuilding community trust after extensive public outrage
2004 - ongoing
OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks (OneSteel) was granted an indenture licence by the Premier of South Australia in 2005 which did not require them to meet Environment Protection Authority conditions in relation to dust. OneSteel faced a high level of outrage from regulatory and other government agencies, activist groups and the local Environment Consultation Group about its approach to managing dust. Futureye was asked to help OneSteel to rebuild trust with government agencies, the Whyalla community and local stakeholders in order to secure the company’s regulatory conditions and its “social license to operate”.
Futureye has helped OneSteel become more focused on strategic communications planning, using outrage mitigation to develop key messages and to strategically rebuild relationships. This process included strategic foresight processes, communication strategy, risk assessment, a social impact assessment, media and issues management training, corporate social responsibility program, and an internal cultural change program.
To date, overall feedback from all external stakeholders who have been involved in the project has been positive. Communication and collaboration with key stakeholders has improved. One example is that the Whyalla Red Dust Action Group which had been pursuing legal action, has signed a mediation agreement (facilitated by a neutral third party and organised by Futureye) and engaged with the company’s Environment Consultative Group.