This report presents the outcomes of a conference intended to examine the economic and social impacts of the resources boom and establish a planning process for standards of practice in this field.
This Conference was the second of its kind held by the Eidos Institute in Gladstone, led by Eidos member universities CQUniversity and The University of Newcastle.
The conference series is designed to examine the economic and social impacts of the resources boom and establish a planning process for standards of practice in this field involving consultation with key government, academic and industry stakeholders.
Gladstone was a most appropriate venue for the Conference with some $50 billion of current investment in major engineering construction in the energy and resources sector.
It is the intent of the Eidos Institute to create platforms and forums for ongoing dialogue and communication around public policy issues of major national importance.
In this light, the Gladstone National Conference sought to bring together experts to discuss topics themed around the social dimension of the energy and resources sector, and included discussion regarding community impacts, liveability, issue mobilisation and mechanisms for improving connections between research and industry.
Connecting academic research with policy and the needs of industry can be a long and often arduous process. Research ‘lost in translation’ can fall through the cracks amidst the competing voices of local, state and national governments and major industry players with their own set of agendas and opinions on community engagement and the social impacts of specific projects.
Over the course of two days, it became clear that attending delegates and presenting speakers were united in their desire to achieve clear and pragmatic outcomes out of a diverse program of presentations, discussion and agendas tabled at the Conference.
The outcomes of this National Conference will help create a sustained narrative around this issue. The recognition that the social and economic impacts and ramifications of the resource sector on regional Australia are complex and involve multiple actors must bring with it a commitment to involve all players – government, industry and academic – in discussion and planning for our shared futures