Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson


    State Government puts citizenship on the corporate agenda

    25/04/2000 9:00 AM

    West Australian businesses are being encouraged to play a leading role in the creation of better communities.

    Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Rob Johnson said today all businesses – from the corner deli to the mining giant – could make a valuable contribution.

    Mr Johnson said partnerships had helped many businesses by enhancing their reputation, boosting staff morale, improving brand image and reinforcing customer loyalty.

    A discussion paper – Citizenship: Building a Shared Future - launched this month by Mr Johnson, examines the issue of corporate citizenship.

    “The discussion paper aims to focus business on the whole issue,” Mr Johnson said.

    “I want to ensure that citizenship is on every corporate agenda. I want to encourage more people in the business sector to develop partnerships with community groups and enable their staff members to be active citizens.

    “Although the primary purpose of most private sector businesses is to increase profitability, companies are now acknowledging that maintaining profits and productivity depends on thriving communities.”

    Mr Johnson said that there were already great corporate citizenship initiatives making a real difference in Western Australia, including;
    • BankWest’s $1 million Community Program and Centenary Grants, which supports environmental, arts, resource development and regional and rural projects throughout the State;
    • Alcoa’s environmental program. The company, through a partnership with Landcare, has committed more than $16 million in the Decade of Landcare to repair degraded land, conserve fragile ecosystems and develop productive, profitable and sustainable land use systems; and -
    • The Red Cross Soup Patrol – a unique partnership between Government, the non-profit sector and business. The patrol is operated by volunteers, funded by the Department of Family and Children’s Services, receives soup from Hollywood Private Hospital and bread from Brumby’s Bakery in Padbury and JP’s Bakehouse in Mt Hawthorn.

    BankWest’s senior manager Don McLean said the bank’s commitment to support community projects was linked to its profits.

    “Contributions and sponsorship towards community projects is a fundamental strategy in the bank’s objective of being viewed as a ‘good corporate citizen’,” Mr McLean said.

    “The benefits have also flowed on internally, where staff are seeing their organisation playing an important community role.”

    Copies of Citizenship: Building a Shared Future, are available through the Office of Citizenship and Multicultural Interests on 9426 8690.

    Business and members of the community are being asked to participate in the debate on citizenship by returning a response form attached to the discussion paper to OCMI before June 30.

    Media contact: Fran Hodge (08) 9481 3244