Senior Consultant, Media and Communications
Yesterday the SAS Group brought industry leaders out of the boardroom and into a room with some of the state’s leading journalists in a joint initiative between the SAS Group and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
The inaugural lunch of the Resources Media Club, launched by the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan, was a resounding success, even if we do say so ourselves.
As QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said in his address to industry leaders, “a number of honourables’’ and media at The Brisbane Club, the industry’s biggest problem isn’t the threat to traffic and business that environmental activists pose.
It is the fact that the resources sector tends to talk to itself, including its staff and shareholders, about the importance of the industry to the wider community, rather than getting that message out to the general population.
In his address to the club, Senator Canavan focused on the moral case for the development of Australia’s resources sector.
“In just the last 30 years, extreme poverty has declined by 75 percent,’’ Senator Canavan said.
“Today, less than 10 per cent of people live in extreme poverty. Two hundred years ago it was more than 90 per cent. That has all been thanks to industrialisation and industrialisation still has a way to go.’’
Senator Canavan said those who wanted to deny the rest of the world access to Australia’s resources would also deny millions of people a route out of poverty.
“If the goals of the protestors are ever achieved – that is the end of coal mining – the result would be millions of more people without a home, without access to electricity and without as much hope as they otherwise could have. All denied by rich, western people who take all of these things for granted,’’ he said.
Denying India 400 million tonnes of coal would deny over 260 million Indian people access to electricity in 2040. Stopping the Carmichael mine would prevent 6.5 million people having access to electricity – a number representing more people than the population of Queensland.
The event attracted considerable media coverage with some of the state’s leading journalists who tackled a wide range of issues raised on the day. This summary by City Beat columnist Anthony Marx gives a good account of the flavor of the event.
The state’s leading journalists also covered issues that included Senator Canavan’s views on the prospects for nuclear power in Australia, the enormous value of rare earth resources, Senator Canavan’s call for the Queensland Government to act on the approval process for the New Acland coal mine, and the Senator’s suggestion that companies that buckle to pressure from environmental activists should be “blacklisted” from the mining industry.
While good coverage and a pleased sector is ultimately rewarding, for the SAS Group, organising this inaugural event in conjunction with the Queensland Resources Council was also an opportunity to bring together the wide range of skills across the SAS team, from media liaison, public affairs and business communication, to event management and government relations.
We are one of the few agencies able to combine this variety of skills and connections. But we also like to think that it’s our values that play a big part in creating successful events and campaigns like this, and ensuring our client’s voices are heard where it counts.