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Examining issues of 'social licence to operate' facing the minerals sector
The resources sector requires ongoing community acceptance if it is to continue to contribute to the wellbeing of Australia. In Victoria, the government is committed to assessing how resource projects operate in harmony with local communities, and the situations which give rise to significant conflict. Futureye was commissioned to assess these issues through a study of social licence to operate in the minerals sector.
Futureye reviewed issues of social licence to operate in the minerals sector, identifying and assessing the non-economic impacts of resource projects and communities response to the impacts. The process also assessed the extent of uncertainty to the resource industry’s social licence to operate in Victoria, identified best-practice approaches to community relations (in Australia and internationally) and developed a social licence to operate Management System for industry.
Futureye then worked with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to identify key areas where government can improve its performance and others to work better with local communities. It also identified actions for the DPI to build a stronger community relations capacity, reduce conflicts and implement best-practice approaches. Futureye facilitated a ‘Futures Planning and Organisational Change’ workshop with the DPI to achieve these learning outcomes in a collaborative setting. A vision for the future was developed with corresponding strategies to realise this vision and keep ahead of changing community expectations.
The project has provided the CSIRO and DPI with a deeper understanding of the current and future environments facing the minerals sector in Australia. The outcome was a series of recommendations around a strategic framework and a three-year action plan to position the DPI to operate effectively at the interface between the resource industry and communities.