The CO2CRC Otway National Research Facility in south-western Victoria is Australia’s first end-to-end demonstration of carbon capture and storage. The facility is widely regarded as having one of world’s most comprehensive CO2 monitoring and verification programs with more than $100 million invested in research over a decade.
To keep the local community informed and participating, to demonstrate the safety and scientific rigor of our projects and establish good working relationships with landowners, a local consultation program has operated for more than 10 years. We have injected and safely stored more than 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide more than 1.5km underground, and the community has been strongly supportive of the project.
To keep the community up to date on our projects we publish regular community newsletters, provide educational resources to local schools, and comprehensive information including fact sheets and brochures through our website and in printed form. We also access wider audiences through traditional and social media such as Twitter.
CO2CRC holds an annual Open Day for the local community. It is a chance for people to visit the Site and have a tour around the facility and get to ask questions to CO2CRC Staff. Local produce is show cased with the very popular BBQ run by the local primary school. To read about last year’s event click here.
Our community reference group encourages two-way communication and includes local landholders, regulators such as the EPA, local government representatives and community groups. The group holds regular public meetings to:
Shelly Murrell is the Otway Project Liaison Officer and provides a local contact for landholders, researchers, visitors and the local community. Shelly lives locally and works closely with landholders and researchers to ensure good relations on site operations. She also briefs local government and she volunteers for speaking engagements with community groups.
Shelly and other CO2CRC staff run tours of the project for community and industry groups, students, researchers, government representatives and the media. Hundreds of visitors a year see how carbon dioxide is stored underground, hear about the comprehensive monitoring program and find out more about carbon capture and storage.