Please dig a mine in my garden and destroy my property value: the real issues of community engagement Stephen Marlow Marlow Communications Pty Ltd
Business profile 16 years in journalism Media advisor, SA Premier Corporate Relations Manager, ASX Investor Relations Manager, AMP Marlow Communications formed in 1999 Based in Adelaide Specialist consultancy to the resources sector
Email from the public... Dear Mr Marlow I am writing in support of your client, Australian Supermining. As you know, my family home lies within your tenement area. My family and our ancestors have lived here for more than 100 years, but we realise that progress is important and we want to be part of the boom! In support of this I’d really like you to dig a mine in my garden and destroy my property value. After all, it’s for the good of the State, isn’t it? We know the benefits of mining in this area: better roads, employment, millions of dollars in the local economy, a sustained development and a wonderful rehabilitation plan. I’m sure that whatever I lose on the property I’ll make up in other ways. Please don’t let us stand in your way: mining is wonderful and we welcome you with open arms. Kind regards A. Citizen.
Community engagement/stakeholder engagement What is it? Why is it important in the resources industry? How is it done? What are the benefits?
During the presentation... Think about what you are doing now What are your objectives Is your program working / can it be improved ‘Process of analysis’ Think then – now – future ... This is a problem solving approach
What are we talking about? Definitions Communities – generally localised to area or region Stakeholders – people and groups with an interest in your development: range from individuals to Governments. Capacity to exert an influence Authority Minerals Council of Australia (Enduring Value) Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources Department of Industry Tourism and Resources PIRSA
Principles of engagement (MCMPR) Communication Two way, clear, accurate, timely Transparency Clear and agreed process Collaboration Mutually beneficial outcomes Inclusiveness Involvement early and throughout process Integrity Mutual respect and trust
Principles of engagement (MCA) Contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which we operate Implement effective and transparent engagement, communications and independently verified reporting arrangements with stakeholders
Why is it important? Government wants ‘no surprises’ Code of practice Social licence to operate Demonstrate commitment to the triple bottom line: economic, environmental and social impacts Perceptions
Expectations Operate to accepted world’s best environmental practices Demonstrate an overriding commitment to health and safety of employees and communities Consult effectively with communities on decisions that may effect them Create economic benefits for shareholders, employees and local communities as well as the nation (owner of the resource) (source: MCMPR)
How is it done? Provide information Create mechanisms for constructive and appropriate two-way engagement Listen and respond to concerns Include communities and stakeholders in relevant decision making processes Develop goodwill and understanding: build confidence and trust Establish a realistic expectation of potential outcomes
What are the benefits? Reduced risk of social conflict, delays and costs Ensuring compliance with the legislative and regulatory framework Quicker and smoother permitting and approvals Reduced risk of criticism and resistance from outside parties
Community Engagement Workshop PIRSA/SACOME joint venture Friday 15 th August PIRSA – 101 Grenfell Street Keynote speakers Minister Holloway Paul Heithersay Jason Kuchel Case studies – Oxiana, Mithril, Hillgrove, Stuart Petroleum Cost benefit analysis Template for community engagement – industry buy-in Industry support for third party accreditation
Summary Community engagement is not an option Regulator is increasingly seeking proof of a long-term commitment Clear expectations, proven methodology Tangible benefits for getting it right