ON DEMAND - Risk Communication – Theory, Principles and Case Study Examples | ALGA
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ON DEMAND - Risk Communication – Theory, Principles and Case Study Examples

ON DEMAND - Risk Communication – Theory, Principles and Case Study Examples

The assessment of contamination in land and groundwater is a well established practice, with standard procedures and guidelines. However, effective and successful communication of contamination risks does not always occur. This can result in upset communities and other stakeholders, with perceptions of risk that are significantly higher than what the science tells us.

This webinar will provide information on the theory and practice of risk communication, to assist with the development of effective communication strategies with stakeholders. Three case studies will also be presented that describe how risks were communicated, stakeholder responses, and what we can learn from these experiences. A summary of each cast study is below:

Case Study 1 – Marcus Herrmann

In 2006, Auckland City Council tested soils at various early childcare centres leasing council land and identified moderate to high soil contamination levels at six locations. Urgent action was taken to isolate surface areas, develop and implement remediation strategies and rehabilitate the sites for use. Community hall and private meetings were held with parents and staff to provide information and answer questions on the implications of soil test results, exposure risk to children and staff and future carcinogenic and neurological risks (assessed as being very low).

Case Study 2 – Stephen Cambridge

Land contamination ‘disasters’ have a lasting effect on how environmental risks are assessed, regulated, and how stakeholders perceive them.  Fifteen years on from the infamous Cranbourne landfill gas incident in Melbourne and, although the approach to landfill gas risk assessment and communications has improved dramatically, there are still a number of challenges to overcome.  This presentation will draw upon some interesting examples of landfill gas risk assessments and planning decisions, and provide observations on what has worked well, and what has not, along with some insights into the challenges in communicating the risks associated with landfill gas.   

Case Study 3 – Ana Serra

Liverpool City Council (LCC) has a legacy of uncontrolled fill used in soils for construction of developments during its early establishment. Increased awareness about asbestos at a national level has also increased concerns for the residents and staff members. LCC has implemented a strategy to tackle those concerns focused on Risk Communication. The presentation shows the various steps taken, the results gathered, the progress made and the lessons learned.

About the Speakers:



Dr Victor Kabay
Senior Environment Business Partner
Cleanaway Waste Services



Victor Kabay has worked as a risk assessor and risk manager for almost 20 years in consulting, academia, the public service and most recently as national Environment Business Partner at Cleanaway Waste Services. He holds a PhD in environmental risk management from the University of Melbourne and worked as a risk assessor in consulting for about 8 years, specialising in contaminated land and air quality risk assessments. He then worked for the Victorian Environment Protection Authority for 5 years as Principal (Environmental Public Health) before moving onto his current role in industry. Victor is a Registrar of the Australasian College of Toxicology and Risk Assessment (ACTRA) and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne Centre for Anthropogenic Pollution Impact and Management (CAPIM).



Marcus Herrmann
Technical Director – Site Contamination
Riley Consultants



Marcus is a Technical Director - Site Contamination at Riley. He has 25 years’ experience in the contaminated land and closed landfills risk assessment and remediation sector, working for national and local government and the private sector. He has been actively involved in the development and implementation of NZ contaminated land legislation, in particular the National Environmental Standard and Auckland Unitary Plan. Marcus is a founding member of ALGA NZ, and currently sits on the Auckland Branch and Risk Assessment Interest Group steering committees.


Stephen Cambridge
Principal Environmental Engineer and EPA Victoria Appointed Auditor
Pivot Environmental



Stephen is an Environmental Engineer with over 25 years experience in landfills, contaminated land investigations and remediation.  He has been involved in landfill gas risk assessments in a variety of roles, including risk assessments, auditing, and designing landfill gas mitigation systems.  He has an interest in how environmental risks are communicated to different stakeholders, and how risk can be perceived differently by various stakeholders. 


Ana Serra
Asbestos and Remediation Coordinator

Liverpool City Council



Ana is Coordinator of Asbestos and Remediation at Liverpool City Council. She is an Environmental Engineer with more than 20 years of experience across several countries and states including Portugal, Ireland, Angola, Western Australia and NSW. She is a Certified Environmental Practitioner and a Licenced Asbestos Assessor, and she has been focusing on asbestos soil contamination for the last 12 years. Ana’s interest in Risk Communication started from her position in Council, where she aspires to establish a positive collaboration between disciplines and stakeholders. She aims to strengthen the dialogue between regulators, community, council, consultants and contractors so that site contamination assessments and site remediations can consider all possible scenarios without avoiding difficult conversations. 

FEES (incl. GST):
ALGA Member A$33.00
ALGA Student Member A$16.50
Branch Welcome Attendee: N/A
Non-Member A$66.00

Up to 1.5 CPD points

Michael Rossi
+61 490 802 518

ALGA Industry Directory

ALGA Partners

P.O. Box: 3199, Robertson, NSW 2577
+ 61 2 4885 1136


ACN 151 172 735
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IRD 116 017 768

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