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Posted by: Emily Lehmann

July 6, 2016

Below are frequently asked questions about the Local Voices project.

What is CSIRO?

CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency. Our community survey approach helps industry 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?

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia (CME) has partnered with CSIRO to conduct an analysis of community attitudes to mining activity in the South West region of Western Australia. This gives communities in the region an opportunity to express their views about, and experiences with, mining activity in the region, and helps to inform the industry’s decision making.

What is the approach?

CSIRO has developed a community survey approach which helps industry 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 industry can engage with and respond to. Community attitude data are collected, analysed, and provided back to industry and community in a format that is accessible and useful. The process provides an avenue for the industry to actively address issues that are important to the community.

Why is CME seeking information from the community?

CME is seeking to understand the expectations of those in surrounding communities, to meet the various interests and concerns of community members. Through Local Voices, CME wants to better understand the communities it works with, to improve relationships and build trust, based on a mutual understanding of the impacts and benefits of the mining industry in the region.

Which communities are being surveyed?

Between March and May 2019, community members from the South West region of Western Australia were invited and encouraged to participate. We aimed to reach as many community members as possible within these areas. The aim is to ensure that a diverse sample of community members participate.

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 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 does the survey take place?

An anchor survey will opened in March 2019 and closed on 31 May 2019.

What will the survey ask?

The survey aims to find out about community attitudes towards issues such as but not limited to the effectiveness of 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 industry.

How long will the survey take to complete?

Following a 10 minute registration, the anchor survey took approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Can the survey be completed via tablet or mobile device?

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

Is the survey 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 CME. 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

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

CSIRO has engaged a service provider, Reflexivity Pty Ltd (Reflexivity) to help deliver this project to CME. Your personal information will be shared with Reflexivity for the purpose of delivering this project on behalf of CSIRO. The agreement between CSIRO and CME will expire in April 2019. Should CME wish to continue the project past this date, 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 CME, to indicate the opinions of community members as a collective. At no time will CME 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 CME in a format that is accessible and useful.

The aggregated data may be used for the following:

  • to identify and understand drivers of trust and acceptance of the mining industry in the South West region of Western Australia
  • in community engagement activities, and in various industry 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 agreement between CSIRO and CME. This will enable a long-term view of community attitudes and how they change over time.

How will CME respond to the information from the survey?

The survey data will inform CME’s community engagement approach and development within the region.

What are the incentives to register with Local Voices?

When participants completed the anchor survey, they received 20 tokens which they can allocate to an eligible not-for-profit community group. When a community group accrues 1000 tokens, CSIRO will deliver a 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 operating within the region. 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 survey?

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