Our approach to communities
At Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun and Queensland Alumina Limited, we recognise that strong management of our
community relationships is as necessary to our business as the success of our operations. We set out to
build enduring relationships that are characterised by mutual respect, active partnership and long-term
In all aspects of our work, we seek to understand the social, environmental and economic implications of our
activities so that we can optimise benefits and reduce negative impacts, both for local communities and for
regional and national economies.
Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund
To support Rio Tinto Alcan’s Gladstone operations now and in planning for future closure, the Rio Tinto
Alcan Community Fund supports community-based projects that can make a difference in a sustainable way
without creating dependency.
In 2002, the Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund was established. Governed by a board of community and company
representatives, the Fund has since invested over $6 million directly in the Gladstone region and leveraged
an additional $10 million across more than 50 partnerships.
In 2008, the Community Fund commissioned the Vision 2028 project, which identified childcare and health as
areas of critical need in the Gladstone region. In order to address these areas, the Fund established the
Here for Childcare and Here
for Health initiatives. The success of these initiatives has increased service
quality and accessibility within the Gladstone region.
Here for Health
The Here for Health initiative commenced in early 2013, with a coming together of community leaders and health professionals to ascertain a holistic understanding of the health needs in Gladstone, and a plan for making a positive change. Since then, the following outcomes have been achieved:
Here For Health 2014
At a recent workshop, the Here for Health Committee agreed that it would increase its focus on integrated
care between primary and tertiary health care providers in 2015.
Here for Childcare
In March 2012, the Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund launched the Here for Childcare programme,
committing $1.2 million over six years. The programme has since delivered the following outcomes,
easing pressure on Gladstone’s childcare industry and families:
Here For Childcare
Sponsorships and donations
This year QAL and Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun sponsored community projects and activities by actively contributing
financial and in-kind assistance. These sponsorships largely focussed on the key areas of childcare,
education and health in Gladstone.
Boyne Tannum Hook Up
In 2014, we launched a three-year partnership with the Boyne Tannum Hook Up. The partnership will see an
external consultant work with the Boyne Tannum Hook Up Committee to establish a robust framework for
ensuring long-term sustainability of the event, and to set the foundations for growing the event into one of
QAL and Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun also coordinated the official Boyne Tannum Hook Up merchandise sales. All
profits from merchandise sales went towards supporting comprehensive mental health services from which local
residents are able to seek support.
Integral to our approach of building enduring relationships with our local communities, Rio Tinto Alcan
Yarwun and QAL continue to find new (and maintain existing) avenues to facilitate open and transparent
QAL and Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun worked to strengthen community engagement in 2014 by regularly interacting
with key community members and groups to discuss matters of importance to community stakeholders and the
We held the first QAL Community Day in November for residents living in the nearby areas of Barney Point,
South Gladstone, Toolooa, Boyne Island, Wurdong Heights, Quoin Island and O’Connell. It was a great
afternoon with residents invited to tour the refinery, discuss impacts with key subject matter experts and
to register with QAL’s new Real-time Online Community System (ROCS).
By listening to our community and proactively working to build open and transparent relationships through
ROCS and direct engagement with the community, QAL aims to better respond to community concerns.
Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun had to postpone its annual Yarwun Community Day due to inclement weather during
December. The day took place on Sunday 1 February 2015. It was a great day with members of the local Yarwun
and Targinnie communities having an opportunity to meet members of the management team, tour the refinery,
and learn about the current and future position of the business.
We understand that to achieve our vision, effective communication, consultation and engagement with our
stakeholders must be part of the way we work. To ensure we engage our stakeholders effectively, we actively
listen to any concerns or suggestions and consider ways in which we can drive continuous improvement in what
We have implemented a Real-time Online Community System (ROCS) at QAL that helps drive better
communication within our impact area. This system ensures all complaints are recorded and actioned
In 2014, QAL received 55 complaints for impacts including dust,
odour, noise and alkali. The number
was significantly reduced from the 78 complaints recorded in 2013. At Yarwun, two complaints were received
in 2014 relating to employee driver behaviour, which was addressed through internal processes.
Cultural Heritage Management
We recognise and respect the cultural heritage of the Traditional Owners of our land. To ensure sites of
cultural heritage significance are protected, we closely consult with local Aboriginal people. Following
a traditional burn and artefact identification within Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun’s RMA2 lot (pictured) in 2013,
verification and relocation of many artefacts to the cultural heritage landscape area was undertaken in
partnership with the Port Curtis Coral Coast (PCCC) Aboriginal Corporation field officers in 2014. This
work was required to prepare the site for future use. The PCCC were also engaged to undertake other
monitoring works at the Yarwun refinery’s existing residue management area (RMA). In 2015, Rio Tinto Alcan
will again work in partnership with the Aboriginal Corporation to evaluate and manage a number of artefact
scatters located on the RMA2 site.
At QAL, no work was undertaken in 2014 that required monitoring for cultural heritage artefacts.
Cultural Heritage Management
Here for Health
The Here for Health Committee was formed in February 2013, and over the last 22 months, has
created a positive change in our local health services.
Here for Childcare
Through the Here for Childcare programme, 12 professional development workshops have been
provided in Gladstone for those working in childcare.
Over the years, the township of Gladstone has gradually expanded and residential areas are now
much closer to the QAL refinery.