South Australia leads the way with community and stakeholder code

first_imgThe South Australian (SA) resources industry has taken a lead in recognising and responding to a growing expectation from community, regulators and industry leaders for more open engagement with the public. It has developed a Code of Practice for Community and Stakeholder Engagement, which has been launched in Adelaide. All companies involved in the SA resources industry including minerals, oil and gas and extractive sectors are eligible to sign the code, which is intended for all stages of resource projects including exploration, development and production, mine closure and rehabilitation. South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) Chief Executive, Jason Kuchel, said that the resources industry, through its peak body SACOME, had been proactive in developing principles and guidelines for community engagement. “The industry recognises it is not enough to do just the bare minimum when it comes to engaging with the communities in which they work,” Kuchel said.“We have developed this code of practice and guidelines for resources companies committed, or planning to commit to best practice when they engage with communities.”The code is designed to encourage resource industry companies to:Establish meaningful relationships with their stakeholders and communities to improve decision-making related to their activitiesGain local knowledge about a range of issues that could be important to an exploration or mining proposal or projectReduce concern, doubt or confusion in the community that may otherwise exist in relation to such a proposal or projectDemonstrate a level of community understanding and support sometimes known as the ‘social licence to operate’Meet regulatory expectations.Kuchel: “We know what happens when community engagement is not adequately conducted. Some resources companies have learnt the hard way that community engagement must be conducted well and communities engaged from the very first moment that any activity is scheduled to take place. Those companies that embrace the principles expressed in the code now have another way to demonstrate commitment to their communities and stakeholders.“We hope that having now developed this code of practice and guidelines, that the South Australian resources industry can lead the nation in best practice community engagement.”The first companies expected to sign the code included BHP Billiton, Iluka Resources and Toro Energy, demonstrating and recording their commitment to effective community engagement.The Code of Practice for Stakeholder and Community Engagement and guidelines are available on the SACOME website at www.sacome.org.aulast_img

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