THIS IS LITTLE RIVER...NICE EH?
PACIFIC NATIONAL DON'T THINK SO
Pacific National's 'community consultation'
(yeah, we're doing air quotes too...)
When you're working on a project to destroy a town you need a lot of cash behind you. About $3-6 billion to be exact.
And for a project that size, you wanna show off about it on your website, in the media & tell your mates about it at the pub. So when some of us locals saw an article way back in December 2021, saying Pacific National had big plans for Little River, we got a bit worried & sent a few emails to CEO Paul Scurrah, our local MP & Councillors.
The general response was 'don't worry', 'nothing's decided yet' & 'we'll let you know what's going on'.
Problem is, Pacific National didn't.
Well, slight correction. They organised Redbridge Consulting (tagline: Influence with Integrity - pfft, yeah right) to organise an automated robot phone survey to ask biased questions & gain support for a proposal that hadn't even been released yet.
As in, the people doing the survey didn't know where the Little River Intermodal was gunna go. Not a clue.
By the way, you can listen below to that highly biased piece of greenwashing audio that Redbridge-with-integrity couldn't be bothered hiring real people for. For the record, it surveyed 1300 residents of the 'south west suburbs & Geelong'; so people who don't even LIVE around here.
Even then, it only got a measly 65% approval rate. So, all that tells us is that NO ONE wants Pacific National's community & environment wrecking rail intermodal around here.
Us locals, increasingly frustrated at the contractors & consultants sneaking around town, measuring things & under strict non-disclosure agreements, emailed a few more times.
Same response. Don't worry. Nothing doing (yet).
Which was kind of a tense place to be until they finally sent us a notification they'd lodged a proposal with the state government to concrete over 350 hectares of open farm & grassland, only 1.5 kilometres from the centre of town. So that sucks big time.
But it's OK. They've also produced a nice glossy brochure with a diversity hire on the front cover to outline exactly HOW they intend to run roughshod over our town. Oh & a PR firm called Capire who have experienced in "facilitating community participation in planning approval processes" & a "culture of social responsibility".
Horrified, some of us called the special hotline Pacific National set up to take 'enquiries' about the proposal, but that just sends you to an answering machine message saying they may call you back within 48 hours. Wow, A plus to Pacific National.
So, Pacific National are now so contemptuous of our town that they won't answer the phone, don't like emails & have hired an expensive PR firm to handle their dirty laundry.
Good to know were we stand Pacific National. Way to go! A Plus on the corporate responsibility team!
Redbridge's greenwashing phone survey. Maybe it helps if you get a soft-sounding chick to ask biased questions without providing a complete set of information. Mate, how's the integrity?
Meet Paul Scurrah, he's the boss of this disaster
He's also really shy.
It's impossible to find an email address for him or any of his executive team, & the multiple attempts some of us have made to connect with this guy have been useless.
He's been described as a good leader, but we reckon someone like that would have the common decency to reach out to a community under great distress by his company's land wrecking plans & see what middle ground might be possible.
And we don't like picking on individuals like this, but hey, you did it first Paul.