Council agrees to develop MOU with Chevron to improve relationship

Published on Monday, 22 September 2014 at 12:00:00 AM

The Shire of Ashburton Council agreed unanimously at its 17 September Council meeting to endeavor to develop a MOU with Chevron Australia, and its parent company, Chevron Corporation, aimed at building a more positive relationship between the two organisations.

The Wheatstone gas project has undoubtedly brought benefits to the local Onslow community – and Australia – but there have certainly been challenges to overcome said Shire President Kerry White, who described the relationship at present as ‘struggling’.

“Discussions between the Shire and Chevron are always cordial but there are issues between our organisations, which often have competing interests,” Cr White stated. “One is a multi-national profit driven company and the other is a local government representing the community.

“The most pressing concern at the moment is Chevron’s decision to not build its FIFO operational village in the Onslow town-site. Hansard records from August show that Chevron had been in discussions with the State Government since February 2014 to try and extract itself from its commitments to the Onslow community.

“The MOU is intended to cover mutual benefits and understandings, commitments and the values of respect, honesty and transparency – important values for both parties to address in the MOU especially as the Wheatstone project will have a presence in Onslow for the next 50+years. It is critical that the relationship is one that is working well.

“Chevron promotes itself as a responsible business and a proud corporate citizen wishing to establish a strong relationship with Onslow’s community and businesses so there is mutual benefit over the decades. The Shire too has similar high expectations of itself.

“There is a concern that there may be a disconnect between Chevron at its global headquarters and Chevron Australia and as such, if necessary, I will travel to the global headquarters in California with CEO Neil Hartley, to progress the MOU. A joint delegation may even be considered as several members of the local business community and union representatives have contacted me about their concerns.”