The Queensland Resources Council has released a new guide for resource companies’ engagement with the communities in which they are based. Based on the QRC’s Listening to the Community project, the guide identifies five principles for effective engagement: communication, integrity and transparency, follow through, understanding and awareness and respect.
“Our members understand that their social licence to operate needs to be earned, renewes and reinforced by listening to the communities when times are good but, more importantly, during the tougher times that we’re experiencing now,” said Michael Roche, QRC’s CEO. “We know from our research the communities want companies to listen and actively engage in their communities – to attend and be part of the local school fete rather than simply handing over a cheque.”
The original Listening to the Community project was undertaken in 2013 and has now been reviewed and updated to reflect the changed environment of today. “The economic and social landscape looks a lot different to when we first undertook this initiative, so we thought it was time to review and update the guide in 2016 to better reflect the needs of local communities where resources companies operates,” Roche explained.
“Most communities are experiencing the adjustment from construction to production, as well as the severe cost cutting forced on most resources operations in the face of plunging commodity prices,” continued Roche. In this environment, the QRC found that communities valued clear and honest communication from companies – even when it involves bad news, such as job losses.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.