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Taking an Industry Perspective

Thought provoking presentations highlighted the influence of industry on communities’ triple bottom line (economic, social and environment outcomes) and the interplay of government; programs, departmental support and policy in strengthening the viability and sustainability of local industry. Unique examples of this at the local level (Entrepreneur program), at state level (The Victorian Gas Program) and federal level (The National Energy Guarantee).

As with all our program days, one can’t help feeling a sense hope and pride in our employed government representatives like; Brenda, John and Grant for the work they are achieving individually and departmentally to improve our communities triple bottom line. Not to mention the role of industry leaders like Dion (Alcoa) and Kara (Port of Portland) and the value they add.

I usually come away with a sense of frustration from our Program Days. The frustration emanates from how government political agendas at all levels are getting in the way of community informed evidence-based debate.

The Victorian Gas Programme as Grant described sounds like a great process using science and research to inform and influence community engagement and debate to create greater understanding and alignment of decision making for future decision making by government on gas exploration in Victoria.

The National Energy Guarantee on the other hand appears to be an example of what not to do to in seeking independent advice (Finkel review) and then ignoring it with no informed community debate.

The challenge is getting our energy mix right in terms of cost, security and sustainability – where is Alcoa in this future mix, and what effect will this debate have on the Great South Coast (GSC) regions triple bottom line?

As leaders of the GSC region we need to advocate for better evidence informed debate aligned with community engagement and local solution generation to inform government decision making.

We have seen the same issues occur within the health sector, the education sector, the dairy industry etc. We can do better and it starts with us as leaders asking for more evidence based data to inform local debate and consultation at the GSC level.

Mark Brennan, Program partcipant


Thanks to our speakers, Dion Gallagher, Portland Aluminium, Metals Manager, the Port of Portland CFO, Kara King, John Krbaleski from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEJTR), Grant Clarke also from DEJTR, Victorian Gas Program and Brenda Callahan, Business Adviser for the federal government’s Entrepreneur Program.

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