Hind Kourouche - Introductory Meeting
21 April, 2007
Invitation to Introductory Meeting
A hand-delivered, un-adressed letters in plain white envelopes from Ms. Hind Kourouche, Sydney Gas LTD appeared in some mailboxes on Saturday 21 April, 2007. The area affected seems to be the end of the Inlet Road, Bulga near the Core Bore 3 location. Interestingly the letter was dated 16th of April. A printable copy of the letter in the PDF format can be obtained here. The text of the letter, as translated from the image by OCR software, goes as follows:
My name is Hind Kourouche, Community and Land Manager for Sydney Gas; my community role primarily interfaces with residents of the Hunter Valley and its surrounding townships to build community relations and awareness.
My presence in the valley over the last seven months has been intended to engage business and community leaders, interested community members or individuals and to raise awareness about Sydney Gas's planned exploration activities.
A very strange letter indeed. Sounds like if someone from a very high authority came down to talk to the peasants. All very nice, kind and friendly but definitively from high above. Like some poor supplicants we are supposed to ask Ms. Kourouche for an audience. Yet she is not from a higher authority. Sydney Gas is just a small, loss-making exploration company trying to make money from our land. There is nothing we need from them, indeed there nothing they can give us.
Then why the sudden interest. They are ready to bring a drilling rig to the Inlet Road without consulting anyone but Mr. Jessop, who volunteered his land anyway. Ms. Kourouche has been here for over seven months, wined and dined everyone in Singleton, consulted bushfire brigades but not the land owners who may be directly affected by their activities. Perhaps she feels that she missed something and wants to fill the gaps before the rig starts to work and the locals realise what they are in for.
Once again, this is a continuation in the pattern of disinformation, spin, smoke and mirrors. They are not interested in genuine community consultation, but they want to be seen involved with the local residents. Every letter and phone call will be carefully recorded to prove to the Government how great corporate citizen Sydney Gas really is. Of course, a dossier like this would be invaluable at the project approval time. Unfortunately, so far Sydney Gas has not answered any of the serious questions concerning the threats to the local environment and property values that HBGAG presented to them.