Community engagement

Why is community engagement important?

Resources projects provide long term benefits to communities, particularly in our regional and remote areas. The benefits of a well‑managed, competitive and productive resources industry also flow to all Australians and can be only realised if community acceptance is secured and community confidence in the sector remains high.

Our people and communities are core to the resources sector. Community acceptance enhances the potential economic and social benefits to communities and prevents delays and costs that affect the sector’s competitiveness. Effective community engagement starts well before a mine becomes operational and continues throughout the life of the mine. Proactive community engagement to learn from communities, share information and reduce uncertainty improves relationships, encourages co-existence and delivers solutions to address community concerns.

How is the department involved?

Although it is the mining industry’s responsibility to engage directly with communities within which they operate, the Australian Government promotes respectful engagements that achieve mutual trust and the full mutual benefit of mining activities. The department supports industry and community to develop productive working relationships through the Community Engagement and, developed as part of the Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program.

To support community participation and engagement with industry, the Australian Government is also funding scientific research projects that provide information about the impacts of mining.

CSIRO established the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) to provide information for the benefit of Australian communities. GISERA delivers high quality scientific research to help better understand the social and environmental challenges and opportunities of Australia’s onshore natural gas industry. The research findings are made freely available both on the GISERA website and in a range of community engagement forums and are used to aid the natural gas industry, government and community in their decision making processes.

Community participation and transparency underpin the Government’s site selection process for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility. A facility will not be imposed on a community without their consent. The Government is working directly with shortlisted communities to understand the concerns of local residents, provide factual information on the facility and explain preliminary assessment processes.

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