July 6th, 2016

Below are frequently asked questions about the Local Voices project.

What is CSIRO?

CSIRO is Australia’s leading science agency. Our community survey approach helps companies understand what the communities they work alongside think about them and why, providing opportunities for building greater trust in those relationships.

What is Local Voices?

BHP has engaged CSIRO for a three-year project with communities neighbouring their operations. The project is called Local Voices. Local Voices will provide the communities neighbouring BHP’s operations an opportunity to express their views and experiences to the company, and to help inform company decision making on the issues that matter most to these communities.

What is the approach?

CSIRO has developed a community survey approach which helps companies understand what the communities they work alongside think about them and why. CSIRO provides sophisticated data analysis that translates community survey data into a language that companies can engage with and respond to. Community attitude data are collected over time, analysed, and provided back to the company and community in a format that is accessible and useful. The process provides an avenue for the company to actively address issues that are important to the community.

Why is BHP seeking information from the community?

BHP wants to better understand the communities it works with, to improve relationships and build trust, based on a mutual understanding of the different aspects of its operations.

Which communities are being surveyed?

All community members (including BHP employees and contractors) neighbouring BHP’s operations are welcome to participate in Local Voices. We aim to ensure a diverse sample of community members are represented in the surveys.

What is a Local Voices ambassador?

Local Voices ambassadors are members of the community who have agreed to support and help promote the project. They play an important role in linking the communities and the CSIRO, encouraging their networks to participate in the Local Voices project. They also advise CSIRO on the value of the process for the communities. CSIRO provides ambassadors with materials and support to perform this role.

How often do the surveys take place?

The Anchor survey takes place once every three years. ‘Pulse’ surveys were originally undertaken on a monthly basis. From October 2020, CSIRO will trial undertaking surveys every three months. The project will continue for at least three years.

What will the surveys ask?

The surveys aim to find out about community attitudes towards issues such as but not limited to the effectiveness of BHP community investment programs, dust, noise, employment, skills training, and development initiatives. The survey also focuses on the nature of the relationship between community members and the company.

How long will the surveys take to complete?

Following a 10 minute registration, the Anchor survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. The quarterly ‘pulse’ surveys should take just 5-10 minutes to complete.

Can the surveys be completed via tablet or mobile device?

Yes, the surveys can be completed on any device able to access the online survey platform. The survey is rendered according to the screen size of the mobile device. Most modern mobile browsers will be compatible with our mobile surveys, including iPhones, iPads, Androids phones and tablets, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and more.

Are the surveys confidential?

CSIRO has a strict ethics framework that protects the rights of research participants. All data are maintained securely, and no personal information or information that would enable identification of individuals is made available to BHP. Participant confidentiality is assured.

CSIRO will be collecting some personal information. The collection, use, disclosure, storage and security of personal information is done in accordance with the provisions of The Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act), including the conditions for the lawful processing of personal information. CSIRO’s Privacy Policy can be found at https://www.csiro.au/en/About/Access-to-information/Privacy

The personal information that CSIRO collects will include contact details, certain demographic information (e.g. gender, occupation) and information relating to personal views. Your contact details, including mobile phone numbers and/or email address, will also be collected so we can send you ongoing survey invitations and project updates. CSIRO uses secure online platforms (i.e. QuestionPro) to send out survey invitations and project updates. QuestionPro’s Privacy Policy can be found at https://www.questionpro.com/security/index.html

CSIRO has engaged a service provider, Reflexivity Pty Ltd (Reflexivity) to help deliver this project to BHP. Your personal information will be shared with Reflexivity for the purpose of delivering this project on behalf of CSIRO. Should BHP wish to continue the project past the initial three years, CSIRO may license the data to Reflexivity to enable continued data collection past this initial agreement. This will enable a long-term view of community attitudes and how they change over time. Your contact details will be included in this data.

Your survey responses will be kept confidential by CSIRO and Reflexivity and will be de-identified and combined so that only the total results will be disclosed to BHP, to indicate the opinions of community members as a collective. At no time will BHP be provided with any information that can identify you or link you to your survey responses.

What happens to the survey data?

CSIRO will analyse the survey data collected and provide the information back to the communities and to BHP in a format that is accessible and useful.

BHP Head Office also receives the summary of data collected in the communities so they can track how well each site engages with communities neighbouring their operations.

The aggregated data may be used for the following:

  • to identify and understand drivers of trust and acceptance of BHP
  • in community engagement activities, and in various company communication materials and reports
  • to inform future decisions and activities of industry and policymakers
  • to produce reports and scientific papers
  • in a broader program of CSIRO research that aims to understand the relationships between mining and communities at different levels across time.

The data may be licensed to a separate entity to enable continued data collection past the initial three-year agreement between CSIRO and BHP. This will enable a long-term view of community attitudes and how they change over time.

How will BHP respond to the information from the surveys?

BHP has committed to using community insights in their decision making. While the company may not be able to solve every issue raised, they will share the results within the business to ensure they are better informed on the things that matter most to the local communities.

What are the incentives to register with Local Voices?

When participants complete the Anchor survey, they receive 20 tokens which they can allocate to an eligible not-for-profit community group. For each quarterly ‘pulse’ survey completed, participants earn 12 tokens which they can similarly allocate. When a community group accrues 1000 tokens, CSIRO will deliver payment of $500 for their use. Alternatively, the community group can cash in tokens pro-rata if they haven’t yet reached 1000 tokens. For example, 500 tokens would be equal to $250.

Which community groups are eligible for rewards through the incentive scheme?

Community groups that are eligible include school P&Cs, charities, and not-for-profit clubs and organisations neighbouring BHP’s operations. Groups must be nominated for the rewards program by a community member who has been authorised by the group, before they can receive tokens.

What happens if someone wants to stop participating in the Local Voices surveys?

Participation is completely voluntary and participants can stop at any time without any consequence. While retracting data is not possible once results are published, you are free to withdraw your participation at any time, without prejudice, penalty or having to provide a reason for your withdrawal.

What happens if someone decides they would like to participate in Local Voices, but they didn’t participate in the ‘anchor’ survey?

This is ok, you can join Local Voices at any time. CSIRO will send a link to the ‘pulse’ survey that is underway at that time and will continue to send invitations until you tell them otherwise.