Community and stakeholder engagement is critical to a sustainable resources industry in South Australia. Our resources companies understand the need to act in a socially responsible way - often referred to as a ‘social licence to operate'.
The South Australian resources industry has taken a lead in responding to growing expectations from community, regulators and industry leaders for pro-active, open and consultative stakeholder engagement. With exploration and mining activities expanding into areas closer to town settlements and onto farming land, the need for harmonious shared land use has increased and optimal community engagement is now one of the industry’s highest priorities.
SACOME recognises that this movement into communities can bring challenges, and provides tools for members such as the Code of Practice for Community & Stakeholder Engagement and the Code of Conduct for Mineral & Energy Explorers. These publications are comprehensive guides to building effective relationships with communities and were established through extensive consultation and input from industry companies, external consultants, relevant government departments and agricultural bodies such as Primary Producers SA.
Effectively engaging with stakeholders who are either directly or indirectly impacted by mining or energy projects is an important element in the regulatory approvals process and of paramount importance to companies looking to gain community support, establish themselves within a community and maximise their economic opportunities.
Together with providing tools and support for companies, all of SACOME’s activities are guided by a strong community focus, an awareness of the need to improve public understanding of the industry, and an in-depth knowledge of the complexities involved in shared land use.
This community focus directs our activities particularly in regards to:
- Our involvement on external committees and working groups
- Our participation in community events - such as careers and educational events and regional field days
- Our submissions and policy recommendations
- Our own events including seminars and workshops
- Our media liaison and articles for external publications and our own SA Mines & Energy Journal
Community engagement workshops and seminars
SACOME has held a variety of workshops and seminars on the topic of community engagement and landholder relations.
The presentations from one of these are provided below. This seminar, held in late 2012, involved speakers from the South Australian Government, Community Engagement Group Australia (CEGA), REX Minerals and SACOME. Members were briefed on key aspects underpinning successful Community & Stakeholder engagement from a variety of perspectives.