Risk Assessment and Risk Governance of Liquefied Natural Gas Development in Gladstone, Australia

R. G. van der Vegt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article is a retrospective analysis of liquefied natural gas development (LNG) in Gladstone, Australia by using the structure of the risk governance framework developed by the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC). Since 2010 the port of Gladstone has undergone extensive expansion to facilitate the increasing coal export as well as the new development of three recently completed LNG facilities. Significant environmental and socio-economic impacts and concerns have occurred as a result of these developments. The overall aim of the article, therefore, is to identify the risk governance deficits that arose and to formulate processes capable of improving similar decision-making problems in the future. The structure of the IRGC framework is followed because it represents a broad analytical approach for considering risk assessment and risk governance in Gladstone in ways that include, but also go beyond, the risk approach of the ISO 31000:2009 standard that was employed at the time. The IRGC risk framework is argued to be a consistent and comprehensive risk governance framework that integrates scientific, economic, social, and cultural aspects and advocates the notion of inclusive risk governance through stakeholder communication and involvement. Key aspects related to risk preassessment, risk appraisal, risk tolerability and acceptability, risk management, and stakeholder communication and involvement are considered. The results indicate that the risk governance deficits include aspects related to (i) the risk matrix methodology, (ii) reflecting uncertainties, (iii) cumulative risks, (iv) the regulatory process, and (v) stakeholder communication and involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1830-1846
Number of pages17
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number9
Early online date26 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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