Investors visit Gladstone to check project impacts

INVESTORS in Santos GLNG and freight operator Aurizon have visited Gladstone to find out about the environmental and social impacts of the companies' projects.

The Responsible Investment Association of Australia organised the trip.

"It was a fact finding mission," said the association's Simon O'Connor.

"Increasingly, responsible investors are keen to explore and understand the full suite of issues that impact upon the ability for a company that they're investing in to deliver on their projects."

He said many of RIAA's members and large investors were exposed to these projects because of their equity holdings across the ASX.

Santos GLNG is under scrutiny by climate safety groups who say coal seam gas extraction is polluting waterways, hurting farmers and contributing to climate change.

A Santos GLNG spokesman said the company had worked in Queensland communities for 50 years and had a proud track record.

"Safe and sustainable operations are at the heart of our business each and every day, so having shareholders also passionate about the way we manage our social and environmental risks is actually an alignment of interests," he said.

"We are happy for our projects to be held up to scrutiny and welcome the opportunity to openly engage with our shareholders."

Aurizon's Wiggins Island Rail Project provides transport for coal exported from Gladstone.

An Aurizon spokesperson said the investors were interested in the company's safety journey.

The spokesperson said several revegetation projects and environmental engineering works contributed to the company's strong environmental record.

Aurizon has also provided funding for several community grants and infrastructure projects, including $10million which enabled the closure of two of Queensland's most dangerous rail crossings.

The RIAA members heard perspectives from Gladstone region councillors and community and environment groups as well as the companies themselves.

Mr O'Connor said all members left feeling better informed.

"Investors are hungry for information," he said. "We wanted to provide them with a broader array of information.

"They now understand the projects as well as the environmental and social context within which these companies are operating."

Topics:  aurizon coal curtis island glng investors santos

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