How we plan and develop our projects
AWE’s philosophy is to engage early and often, we commit ourselves to communicating extensively with local stakeholders because we want to be open and transparent about what we’re doing. We also have confidence in the safety of our operations.
AWE considers the life-cycle of a project from the initial planning phase through to development and decommissioning to ensure environmental, health and safety, community and business factors are addressed and that each of our projects is undertaken safely and responsibly.
AWE understands the high value placed on the environment of the Mid West by landowners, community members and other stakeholders. We are committed to protecting these values, and undertake rigorous risk assessments as part of project planning and in preparation for seeking project approvals.
AWE prepares approvals documentation in accordance with legislated approvals processes administered by the Department of Mines and Petroleum, the Environmental Protection Authority and other government agencies.
Before AWE begins a proposal to develop a project we complete the following:
- A comprehensive risk assessment
- Engage with our stakeholders
- Maintain communication and transparency
A comprehensive risk assessment is undertaken to identify all of the potential impacts a project may have on an area, then we proceed to understand how these can be effectively managed by implementing protection measures. If science tells us that a risk can’t be managed then the outcome is simple, that particular project is no longer an option.
Potential key issues and impacts which are identified during the project planning phase:
|Surface water||Study catchment. Design project to manage erosion and runoff. Ongoing monitoring.|
|Groundwater||Study aquifers, monitor and manage.|
|Chemicals||Stored on-site safely according to regulations. Make disclosure information about down-hole chemicals and substances publicly available.|
|Conservation||Conservation values investigated and considered throughout project planning. Dieback/weed hygiene highest priorities.|
|Aboriginal heritage||Surveys conducted during project planning. Traditional Owners involved in monitoring ground works to ensure conservation of any heritage values.|
|Traffic||Managed so minimal increases during peak work periods.|
|Air quality||Potential emission sources identified and equipment maintained to reduce any emissions.|
|Noise||Generally minimal due to rural area and generally isolated sites.|
|Fire||Firefighting equipment on site with staff trained in firefighting techniques. Allequipment hazard zone rated for drilling operations. Gas detection on site.|
|Rehabilitation||Sites rehabilitated to landowners’ requirements or agreed post-activity land use.|
Engage with our stakeholders
Our stakeholders may be members of the community such as landowners, traditional owners on whose land we operate or shire residents. They also include relevant regulators and decision makers.
Maintain communication and transparency
Beyond initial discussions, we continue to maintain open communication with stakeholders about our activities as they develop. Forums for communication may be at community information meetings, updates in the local paper on progress and direct mail to local residents. Information is also available via our AWE in the Mid West microsite. We’re continuously guided by the guidelines set out on the Western Australia Onshore Gas Code of Practice for Hydraulic Fracturing.
More recently, to increase the level of engagement between AWE and residents of the Shire of Coorow even further, AWE has sponsored the formation of an independently facilitated Community Reference Group.
This Group operates independently of AWE, although AWE does provide information specifically requested by the Group and, like a number of other stakeholders, including regulators and subject matter experts, participates in the group by invitation.