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Potential social impacts of extractive industries in Central-West Queensland: Lessons from other regions Forum - CSG: What does it mean for our region?

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Presentation on theme: "Potential social impacts of extractive industries in Central-West Queensland: Lessons from other regions Forum - CSG: What does it mean for our region?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Potential social impacts of extractive industries in Central-West Queensland: Lessons from other regions Forum - CSG: What does it mean for our region? Desert Channels Group and Remote Area Planning and Development Board April 2012 ©

2 Seven lessons from other regions with extractive industries 1.Any industry brings benefits, risks and costs 2.Social impacts are hard to define and measure 3.It’s never all good (or all bad) 4.Resource extraction creates jobs but can deplete the labour pool 5.Mining and CSG bring benefits but they are not equally spread 6.Mining and CSG provide infrastructure but “soft” infrastructure is often neglected 7.The social changes accompanying extractive industries can affect social fabric and psycho-social well-being Applying the lessons – Towards positive transformation Today’s presentation

3 The conventional proposition that all a region needs is an industry that brings jobs, economic growth and better infrastructure no longer secures a social licence to operate Sustaining regional communities $121 $ 27

4 Sustainable development maintains (and where possible increases) stocks of these various kinds of capital so that we live off the ‘flows’ without depleting the stock of capital itself. Development is not sustainable if we ‘liquidate’ our assets rather than add value to them Assets-based, sustainable development Pentagon (sexagon) of assets / Five capitals (or six) Natural Human Social Built Economic Cultural

5 Occupy land, disrupt natural ecosystems, use water etc = environmental impact Employ people, pay taxes and earn export dollars = economic impact Affect people’s quality of life - how they live, work, relax and interact with each other = social impact Lesson 1: Any industries bring both benefits and costs

6 Because they involve human experiences of change: Need to measure what counts not what can be counted → indicators of community assets & well-being Social responses less predictable, objective and standardised than biophysical ones → qualitative measures Harder to isolate variables from each other and the context → systems approach Aggregate and interact with each other → cumulative measures not discrete ones Lesson 2: Social impacts are hard to define and measure

7 MINE Business OpportunitiesJob creationEducation and trainingWorkforce drawdownEconomic DiversityEconomic benefitsDemand for housingHousing SupplyCost of housingCost of livingPerceived crime etcDust, noise, amenityCultural HeritageTransport and trafficHealth and OH&SShift schedulesDemand for servicesAvailability of servicesRecruitment of staffSocial character/IDCommunity cohesion Olympic Dam Roxby Downs SA ↑xxx↑ xx Alcan Gove Nhulunbuy NT ↑xxxxxx↑ x Port Hedland Pilbara WA ↑x ↑xx↑xx ↑↑x↑xx x Newmont Gold Kalgoorlie WA Ravensthorpe WA x ↑x↑xxx Bowen Basin Coal QLD xx ↑xxxxxxxx↑xxxx Crinum Coal Emerald QLD x xxxx Centennial Muswellbrook xxx↑x Drayton Muswellbrook ↑ x x Alberta Oil Sands Canada xxx Lesson 3: It’s never all good (or all bad)

8 Case Study – Upper Hunter Valley (NSW)

9 Upper Hunter Valley – 3 shire councils Upper Hunter, Muswellbrook (pop 16,000) and Singleton (pop 21,900) Population of ~50,000 N-W of Sydney in NSW 15km wide and 100km long Main towns – Muswellbrook (10,500), Denman, Singleton (21,900), Camberwell, Scone and Aberdeen Background

10 Land Use: Mines, thoroughbreds, vineyards Major NSW coal region 20 mines with 8 new ones and expansions under way 75+ horse studs 30+ wineries

11 Both industry sectors also provide indirect and induced employment 27% Upper Hunter businesses rely on providing support services to mining industry Almost 20% people engage in voluntary work MiningAgriculture Number employed (Hunter)19,5007,300 % Employment (Hunter)5.1%3.3% % Employment (Australia)1.5%2.7% % Muswellbrook workforce15%8.9% % Singleton’s workforce19.6%5% % Upper Hunter Shire workforce6%24% Labour impacts

12 Opportunities Created over 10,000 extra jobs in the last decade and set to create 25,000 new jobs in the Hunter 2010-2014 Increases youth employment opportunities Provides off farm employment supplements farm incomes eases peaks & troughs of agricultural cycles Challenges Unequal potential between mining and agriculture to compete for labour high paying mining v. farms Surplus labour absorbed into mining or driven out by high accommodation costs Difficulties recruiting and retaining staff for essential community service jobs Lesson 4: Mining creates jobs but depletes the labour pool Not everyone can work for the mines – but we’re left with the drongos and the drug addicts

13 Increased wealth differential. Av. weekly earnings (Hunter) = $1720 (Mining); $808 (Agric.) Cost of living rises hit the poor Problems associated with wealth (gambling, drinking, credit use and debt) Regional communities lack range of services found in cities Some people earn high incomes Mining employees contribute $20 million to Hunter region Industry will pay $6.8 billion in royalties 2010-2014 Opportunities Challenges Lesson 5: Mining brings benefits but they’re not evenly spread Mining is beneficial because of the relatively high income for mine workers but it also provides a gap between the miners and the lower income earners. The local economy is geared for the mineworkers for example, rent, house prices etc

14 The New England Highway follows the valley 24 rail load points, 15,000 loaded rail trips / year 2 coal-fired power stations Mines re-using water from Muswellbrook sewage Sites of heritage significance Housing infrastructure and extra pressure from population Services e.g. health (6 hospitals) and education (8 /10 primary schools, 3 /4 secondary schools and 1 TAFE campus in each of Muswellbrook and Singleton) Soft infrastructure – including community networks, family life Impacts on infrastructure and services

15 Opportunities Injection of Government and private sector funds into regional infrastructure development Development of multi-user infrastructure (e.g. Sports venues, roads, water treatment) Support for regional community and business development (e.g Forestry plantation; Crops for the Hunter) Challenges Scale of population increase places excessive demand on infrastructure (e.g. Water supplies) Long lead times for infrastructure development Shortage of affordable housing Essential services understaffed Maintaining social capital Lesson 6: Mining brings infrastructure but soft infrastructure and services often neglected The mines provide scholarships and traineeships for our young students and we have them to thank for our pool, the PCYC, hospital upgrades and the cycling velodrome. They’ve helped the show association, the pistol club and the youth homelessness service as well as local service clubs, charities and arts societies. They invest a lot here

16 Polarising of communities Psychosocial impacts – feelings reported include fear, anger, stress, grief, violation, loss, hopelessness and depression Feelings of social dislocation with shifting economic activities, rapid turnover of neighbours, relocations and changed social composition Changing community identity (  ‘Solastalgia’) Impacts on identity and psycho-social impacts These effects manifest in community opposition and action

17 Opportunities Diversification of social networks through increased population and community diversity Re-invigoration of connection to the land by community members Community proactive and united for collective action Exploration of multiple land uses and functions of landscape Community fragmentation – the split between us and them, old and new residents Erosion of the farming ethos and community identity Conflict between miners’ farmers’ and community visions for the community Deteriorating trust between mines and communities Lesson 7: The social changes accompanying mining can mobilise communities Challenges

18 How resources can contribute to sustainability Resource Value Regional Value Source: Adapted from Newman, Armstrong and McGrath, 2005 p. 7 FOCUS: Inter- weaving of functions Asset Enhancement Economic Profits and returns to shareholders Supply chain benefits to regional businesses Human Higher education, skills and training Good health and safety Social Adequate social services More recreation options Vibrant volunteering Built Physical infrastructure (transport, IT, public buildings, water, power) Housing Natural Rich biodiversity Restored landscapes and ecosystems Cultural Protected heritage Local identity reinforced Indigenous values and culture revitalised

19 Mutual respect On-going, open communication Transparent and equitable regulation and planning systems Collaboration and collective action Integrated landscape management approaches Commitment to enhancing community assets Applying the lessons - Paths to Transformation “The benefits of the coal industry for our region (the upper Hunter Valley) outweigh the negative impacts” What’s needed?

20 Negative Impacts Livelihoods and local economy undermined Safety and security decrease Health and education standards deteriorate Social divisions increase Culture eroded Displace government infrastructure & services Corporate policies and practices Benefits distributionBehaviourSide Effects Positive Impacts Livelihoods and local economy enhanced Safety and security increase Improved health and education Social cohesion and cooperation increase Culture enriched Increased capacity of government to provide infrastructure & services Company impacts on communities Adapted from Luc Zandvliet & Mary B. Anderson (2009) Getting it Right. Making Corporate-Community Relations Work Fairness Respect Accountability Transparency Caring

21 THANK YOU Jo-Anne Everingham j.everingham@uq.edu.au Ph: 07 3346 3496


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