Australian expectations for mining


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Dr Joanna Parr, Leader, from CSIRO Coastal Balance Research; and Dr Claire Mason, from CSIRO Coastal Balance Research delivered this presentation at Mining the Territory 2012. For more information on the annual event, please visit

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Australian expectations for mining

  1. 1. Mining for Australia Claire Mason, Gillian Paxton, Richard Parsons, Kieren Moffat, Joanna Parr 21 September 2012 WEALTH FROM OCEANS & MINERALS DOWN UNDER FLAGSHIPS
  2. 2. Why national objectives? • Public expectations of the industry influence whether or not a mining operation is deemed to be acceptable • The acceptability of offshore mining in Australia is currently being debated. Groote Eylandt
  3. 3. Approach 1. CSIRO expert provides participants with information 2. Participants deliberate and ask questions 3. “What should the industry seek to achieve?” 4. “Why are these things important?” Small group deliberation
  4. 4. Objectives: • Minimise environmental impacts • Support and look after local communities • Maximise economic benefits • Provide employment for Australians • Leave an endowment for future generations of Australians • Maintain Australia’s international standing
  5. 5. Minimising Environmental Impacts “no impact, zero tolerance on impact” “Sort of leave it as you find it or as best you can...”
  6. 6. Support and look after local communities • Protect their identity, way of life and cultural values • Same quality of life as all Australians • Provide infrastructure and employment • Monitor health • Plan for mine closure • Communicate and involve
  7. 7. Maximise Economic Benefits “making money” “you don’t want to make the money to the detriment of the country”
  8. 8. Provide Employment for Australians “the local community first” “jobs for Australians”
  9. 9. Leave an Endowment “eventually it’s going to run out” “[once] the wealth is gone, how do we sustain ourselves?”
  10. 10. Maintain Australia’s International Standing “The more money we make, we are more respected by the right countries, like the US, the UK, if we’re not making as much money, we’re seen as lower on the food chain.”
  11. 11. But: Participants’ position towards the mining industry shifted as the focus of the discussion changed.
  12. 12. Shifting positions: “...I think that that needs to be the message that companies... understand. We don’t want them.“ “when you want to move onto another mine or whatever you can have a lot more chance of getting the approval if your last effort ran smoothly.” “the Australian companies get an invite to Australia to mine.”
  13. 13. Outcomes • Insight into the national “dilemma” • Understanding expectations enables the industry to better meet those expectations • Attitudes towards mining are influenced by framing and context
  14. 14. Science into Society Group Dr Claire Mason Social Scientist t +61 7 3327 4164 e w WEALTH FROM OCEANS Thank you