CSIRO, BHP listen to local voices

Australian research group the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and BHP have launched Local Voices in an effort to allow communities near the miner's operations to engage with the company
CSIRO, BHP listen to local voices CSIRO, BHP listen to local voices CSIRO, BHP listen to local voices CSIRO, BHP listen to local voices CSIRO, BHP listen to local voices

CSIRO and BHP launch Local Voices community engagement initiative

The initiative, which will also involve regular surveys of community residents to seek input on a number of issues, is now active in Muswellbrook, Singleton, Denman and Scone.

Over the coming three years, Local Voices will aim to improve engagement between the miner and residents by allowing for increased understanding of views and experiences and trust building, the pair said.

"BHP has committed to using community insights in their decision-making," they added.

"While the company may not be able to solve every issue raised, they will share the results with the business to ensure they are better informed on the things that matter most to the local communities."

BHP community manager Melita Shirley told local news outlets that the programme would also help to provide a snapshot of what life is like in a mining region.

Some of that will be achieved via brief surveys, with individual responses always kept confidential. Specifically, participation involves an initial anchor survey, followed by short monthly pulse surveys.

CSIRO will collect and analyse the survey data with the goal of gaining insight into BHP's operations; results will be avaialble publicly via the Local Voices website.

CSIRO Local Voices project leader Kieren Moffat added in the outlet interviews that the concept should add value to the local areas.

"By taking part in Local Voices, [they] will not only express … views on BHP and the company's activities but [also] immediately benefit local not-for-profit community groups through a rewards programme."