Rio Tinto looks to build on role in com­mu­nity

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

About a year af­ter its launch, Rio Tinto’s Pil­bara Lo­cal Voices sur­vey is start­ing to show trends and is pro­mot­ing bet­ter two-way con­ver­sa­tions be­tween the min­ing gi­ant and mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ties in which it op­er­ates, ac­cord­ing to pro­po­nents.

Ini­tial data from the CSIRO backed sur­vey was pre­sented at com­mu­nity meet­ings in Pan­na­won­ica, Tom Price, Parabur­doo, Kar­ratha and Wick­ham last month where res­i­dents could give their feed­back.

So far, the sur­vey has at­tracted 160 reg­u­lar and 550 to­tal re­spon­dents, in­volve­ment from 64 com­mu­nity groups and cov­ered themes in­clud­ing shift ros­ter struc­tures, lo­cal pro­cure­ment and tech­no­log­i­cal change.

Rio Tinto manag­ing di­rec­tor of rail, port and core ser­vices Ivan Vella said so far the data re­flected a good level of com­mu­nity con­fi­dence in Rio, with trust in the com­pany’s lo­cal pro­cure­ment push es­pe­cially start­ing to show, as well as ar­eas that needed im­prove­ment.

“I think the onus is on us now to draw the in­sights, link the ac­tions and demon­strate change, to try and re­ally close that loop,” he said.

“We’re very happy with the re­la­tion­ship and we’re pleased that we’re get­ting the par­tic­i­pa­tion and in­ter­est and we want to keep build­ing on it.”

CSIRO Lo­cal Voices project lead re­searcher Kieran Mof­fat said pro­po­nents were shar­ing data with re­gional stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ments, not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions and com­mu­nity groups to bet­ter in­form their work.

He said the next fo­cus for the sur­vey would be in­creas­ing en­gage­ment.

“In com­mu­ni­ties of this size, (cur­rent num­bers) are solid and so the sam­ple is large enough that we can make mean­ing­ful com­par­isons be­tween towns,” he said.

“But if we can get more peo­ple in­volved, then we can do more so­phis­ti­cated analy­ses on the data as a whole, and re­ally get some qual­ity in­sights.”

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the sur­vey had given the lo­cal gov­ern­ment a bet­ter pic­ture of com­mu­nity mem­bers’ wants and con­cerns.

A dig­i­tal con­tent strat­egy to pro­mote the sur­vey will be launched in com­ing months.

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