Engaging with our communities
Acting responsibly, operating in a sustainable manner and adding value to the communities where we operate are vital to our business success.
As an Australian company with a large regional footprint, we recognise that our business impacts many communities across Australia. At Aurizon, we are committed to developing and maintaining positive relationships with our communities. With approximately 75% of our employees regionally based, we consider ourselves part of the local communities where our employees and their families live and work.
We are focused on understanding our role in helping to build vibrant, sustainable and resilient regional communities.
Our Community Engagement Charter is built on five key philosophies:
- Safety of our communities is our number one priority.
- We aim to build sustainable long-term positive relationships between Aurizon and our community stakeholders.
- We aim to establish an ongoing dialogue with community stakeholders to improve our performance.
- We uphold our corporate citizenship with respect to legislative and regulatory obligations.
- We build sustainable legacies and add value in the communities where we live and work, in line with our community investment priority areas and guidelines.
Being a part of our communities
Sowing seedlings in Sarina, Central Queensland
Aurizon employees helped plant 200 saplings to rehabilitate and stabilise the Willie Creek bank. Organised by the Sarina Landcare Management Association (SLCMA), our employees from Mackay and Sarina, together with local landholders and members of the community rolled up their sleeves and got the job done.
Willie Creek, which suffered significant damage during Cyclone Debbie, is located next to our Jilalan Rail Depot in Sarina.
The project was funded by a cash grant from the Aurizon Community Giving Fund program. SLCMA Coordinator, Saskia von Fahland said that the saplings will improve the health and stability of that section of Willie Creek.
Supporting our local school in RockhamptonThe Allenstown State School received much needed funds raised from a sausage sizzle organised by our Rockhampton regional office employees. This helped the school provide some essential items such as school bags and sports gear.
During the visit, our engineers, network controllers and administration staff talked with the children about rail safety at level crossings and engaged them in a 'Show and Tell' session about what goes into running and building a railway line.
Keeping communities safe
Sounding of the train horn
Every year there are more than a thousand near misses or collisions at level crossings in Australia and sadly, some of these involve the loss of life. A collision can also result in a derailment.
Trains must always sound the horn at high risk areas like level crossings where pedestrians, road traffic and trains intersect.
It is a mandatory safety requirement and an important aspect of keeping our communities and train crew safe. It is critical in warning motorists, pedestrians and rail workers of an oncoming train. In addition, our train crews must sound the horn if their view is restricted or they perceive a hazard on or near the railway.
A fully loaded freight train can take more than two kilometres to come to a stop. Unlike vehicles, trains cannot swerve to avoid a collision. The sounding of the horn is therefore intentionally loud and above ambient noise to effectively warn of and to attract attention of an approaching train, even if it isn’t immediately visible.
This applies 24 hours a day, seven days a week even if a level crossing has other warning devices like boom gates, flashing lights or bells. At Aurizon we regularly remind our drivers to be attentive of the impacts from horn noise on communities adjoining the rail corridor and not to sound the horn beyond the safety requirements.
Safely crossing livestock or heavy machinery at a level crossing on your property.We appreciate the support of our regional landholders who have private level crossings (occupational crossings) on their properties adjacent to the Aurizon Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN) rail corridor.
We have a simple protocol to not only make crossing of livestock and heavy machinery easier but to ensure safety is paramount for all.
With a network of 2,670 kilometre of rail track, our neighbours also play an important part in alerting us if they note something out of the ordinary with our trains like locked train wheels, a damaged wagon or any other damage in our rail corridor that poses a safety hazard.
For livestock crossings, rail crossing incidents, livestock or trespassers in the rail corridor, fire or to report a safety concern in the CQCN rail corridor, please contact the Aurizon Network Control.
If your property is along the Goonyella and Newlands rail systems, call (07) 4932 0746. If your property is along the Blackwater and Moura rail systems, call (07) 4932 0745.
For rail emergencies, please contact 1800 079 303
More information is available in our Level Crossings Protocol fact sheet.
Accessing private land for our activities
Aurizon seeks to establish and maintain good relationships with our neighbours and landholders adjacent to the rail corridor that demonstrates mutual respect and courtesy.
In the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN) we share a common boundary with many landholders. At certain times permission may need to be obtained to access their properties to maintain and operate our rail infrastructure.
Aurizon has introduced a Land Access Protocol (LAP) to set out minimum standards Aurizon staff and contractors are to adhere to when entering and using adjoining landholders’ properties.
The purpose of the LAP is to balance the landholder’s interests with Aurizon’s business requirements. The LAP includes (but is not limited to) for example:
Communication and consultation with landholders
Implementation measures to manage vegetation and erosion control
Leaving gates, grids and fences as found unless otherwise agreed with the landholder
Appropriately using access points and tracks, after consultation with landholders
Respect for people, livestock, land and property infrastructure
Implementing measures (where needed) for biosecurity and declared pest management within our legislation obligations.
Aurizon recognises that an important part of engaging with our communities is how we listen to community feedback and respond to these concerns.
We monitor community concerns about our operations to understand our impact and how we can improve or better communicate the regulatory and safety requirements of our business.