Mining and the Community

Socio-economic Impact Assessment and Community Engagement to Reduce Conflict over Mine Operations

Mining and the Community » Mining and the Community

Published: September 06Project Number: C13080

Get ReportAuthor: John Rolfe, Stewart Lockie | Central Queensland University

The broad aim of this project was to assist coal mining companies develop effective processes for engaging with their communities and developing impact assessment and planning processes that can be agreed by their stakeholders. The broad focus of the project has been in three key areas:

  • demonstrating that assessment of social and economic impacts can occur at any stage during the life of mine operations,
  • developing new tools for the assessment of social and economic impacts, and
  • comparing the impacts from mining between mining-focus and rural-focus towns.

The range of project outcomes have been summarised in a series of reports, as follows.

  • Report 1. Overview of Social and Economic Issues Associated with the Bowen Basin Coal Industry
  • Report 2. A Review of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for Coal Mine Developments and the use of Economic and Social Impact Assessment in the Bowen Basin - Tools and Trends
  • Report 3.  Accounting for Social and Economic Impacts in Annual Sustainability Reporting.
  • Report 4. Regional Economic Impact Assessment: An Overview of the Input-Output Methods
  • Report 5.  The Impact of Coal industry Development Projects on the Central Highlands, Fitzroy and Queensland Economies: An Application of Input-Output Method
  • Report 6.  Regional Economic Impact Assessment: Factors Influencing Workforce Mobility to Regional Mining Towns
  • Report 7. Social and Economic Impacts Associated with Changes in the Coal Mining Industry in the Bowen Basin on the Township of Blackwater
  • Report 8. Social and Economic Impacts Associated with Changes in the Coal Mining Industry in the Bowen Basin on the Bauhinia Shire  (Springsure and Rolleston)
  • Report  9. Results of the Extended Stakeholder Analysis (Blackwater)
  • Report  10. Results of the Extended Stakeholder Analysis (the Bauhinia Shire)
  • Report  11. Summary and Recommendations

This report includes a number of summary findings about the social and economic impacts of coal mining on the communities in the Bowen basin. The approaches used are outlined and briefly discussed. The findings from this research should be more widely applicable in other regions of Australia and overseas where there is a need to assess social and economic impacts of project, industry or policy on regions and communities. The focus of this report is to outline the issues considered and give a summary of key findings.

The rest of this report is structured as follows.

The background of the issues is summarised in section 2. An overview of approaches to assess social and economic impacts is provided in section 3, while the coal mining industry in the Bowen Basin of central Queensland is described in section 4. The results of traditional assessment methodologies for the case study follow: economic impact assessment in section 5, and social impact assessment in section 6. Results of the two alternative mechanisms then follow: choice modelling in section 7 and experimental workshops in section 8. Final conclusions are drawn in section 9.


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