When participants complete a survey, they receive tokens which they can allocate to an eligible not-for-profit community group. For each monthly ‘Pulse’ survey completed, participants earn four (4) tokens which they can allocate. Participants allocate their tokens to eligible community groups who can then cash these in – 1000 tokens are worth $500. Alternatively, the community group can cash in tokens pro rata after 6 months if they haven’t yet reached 1000 tokens. For example, 500 tokens would be equal to $250.
Groups or organisations nominate to join the rewards scheme. They must be not-for-profit groups operating in the Pilbara region, and may be school P&C’s, charities, sports clubs or other organisations. There is no limit to the number of credits any one community group can accrue.
Full eligibility criteria are given in the Terms & Conditions.
There is no limit to the number of credits any one community group can accrue. The challenge for community groups is to get their networks motivated to complete surveys to trigger rewards – CSIRO can provide community groups with material to help do this.
Dr Kieren Moffatt, Project Leader at CSIRO, has thanked community groups and individuals who have already registered for participation.
“We’re grateful to the significant number of community groups across the Pilbara who have registered for the rewards process and who have promoted the project through their own networks, it’s heartening to see how strong community spirit and involvement is across the towns.” – CSIRO, Local Voices Project Leader, Dr Kieren Moffat
The Karratha Community Garden, Chairman, Stuart Otto, has seen first-hand the positive impact of the rewards program locally.
“Every revenue stream is a bonus for community groups. We are very excited about the doubling of rewards tokens until the end of July. Hopefully we can use the rewards money for products such as fertilisers, mulches and plants as we come into the winter and main planting season,” – Karratha Community Garden, Chairman, Stuart Otto
Local Voices allows communities neighbouring Rio Tinto’s operations in the Pilbara a direct and confidential voice inside the company each month. Results from the surveys are provided to Rio Tinto in an aggregated form to ensure participant confidentiality. They are also posted on the Local Voices website. This data helps Rio Tinto see what issues matter most to the community and helps inform the company’s decision making.
Mr Otto believes Local Voices provides a pathway for Rio Tinto and government to have their finger on the pulse in terms of community opinions.
“Having many people inputting into the Local Voices surveys gives our community a united voice to show our perspective on issues that matter to us. This means big business and government can have their finger on the pulse – just as we do as community groups. With Local Voices, an individual can have an impact by not only earning funds for their community group but also providing big business with a snap shot of community opinion.” – Karratha Community Garden, Chairman, Stuart Otto
Mr Otto said they encourage the Karratha Community Group members to get involved with Local Voices by promoting the project on their Facebook page and speaking with the parents of their Junior Green Thumbs about how they can get involved.
Leading the rewards program currently are the Wickham Tidy Towns group. President, Kelly Nunn, sees Local Voices as an opportunity for the whole community.
“The ongoing data from Local Voices will help everyone understand the challenges and opportunities being captured through the surveys and hopefully offer some direction for us all. We want our town to be the best it can be. It wasn’t just about the rewards process for us. We work closely with the City of Karratha, other community groups and Rio Tinto, so it’s in all our best interests to be involved and participate in Local Voices. Our Local Voices rewards money will help us have the money to scope out our community projects in more detail, which is a good outcome for the whole town. We’d encourage community groups to support and promote Local Voices through their networks, it’s quick and easy to get involved.” – Wickham Tidy Towns, President, Kelly Nunn