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Local Voices can make a difference


Novocastrians can influence strategy, share their views and inspire others from today through the Local Voices Community Survey, conducted by Port Waratah Coal Services.

Open for the rest of March, the survey is a six-monthly check-in with the community and stakeholders.

There are a number of topics, including environmental aspects such as air quality and noise, economic benefit, the community investment program and diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

And, it takes only 5-10 minutes to complete.

Port Waratah CEO Hennie du Plooy said the Local Voices Community Survey had been a significant part of the organisation’s community engagement strategy since 2018.

“The regular surveys have opened up an important dialogue with our local communities and key stakeholders, which has led to several improvements for our business and stronger relationships based on shared information and respect,” he explained.

“We value the opinions of people living in our neighbouring portside suburbs and the wider Newcastle region.

“The survey helps us to make more informed decisions and over time allows us to track trends in community views to see where we are improving and where there is a need to focus our efforts.”

Survey results have influenced greater investment in health as a priority area for the Community Investment Partnership Program, with Port Waratah investing more than $270,000 in health projects over the past two years.

The development of the Youth Sport in Portside Suburbs initiative was in response to feedback through the survey, providing more than $20,000 for junior sporting clubs in 2020.

“We’ve also provided greater access to independent air quality information and attuned our range of communication methods to meet the preferences of the community and other stakeholders, encouraging two-way communication through traditional and digital platforms,” Mr du Plooy said.

Beyond this funding, for every survey that is completed $5 is donated to a local community organisation – almost $10,000 since 2018.

“The survey provides valuable insights for our business and as an active and committed member of our local community, it’s important that we listen,” Mr du Plooy added.

For further information and to register and complete the Local Voices Community Survey, visit

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