To support the development of a contextualised survey instrument, representatives of relevant community groups, near neighbours, and the wider community, were invited to participate in a 2-hour workshop to explore community functioning and wellbeing, before delving into specific issues and aspirations associated with the proposed underground gold mine development.
A series of five community workshops were run over three days in late October 2016. The five workshops were facilitated by CSIRO and attended by 45 participants. Participants came from three broad groups: near neighbours to the proposed project; local community leaders, and the general public.
The findings from the workshops have been grouped into three sections, each section corresponding to the three main topics explored in the workshop.
Workshop participants provided rich accounts of the quality of their lives in the Adelaide Hills.
When prompted, participants generated long lists of potential impacts and benefits that the proposed mine may have on the area and its residents. The impacts included water resource impacts, community safety, increased road traffic, and impacts on other industries such as viticulture and tourism. Some of the potential benefits included increased local employment, opportunities for local businesses, and additional state revenues. Some impacts were being experienced now as a result of the work already being conducted by Terramin, including stress and increased time/resources devoted to actively assessing information about the project. However, utilisation of water resource mapping data provided by Terramin was viewed positively by local landowners.
A key theme that emerged in all workshops was the extent to which there was uncertainty regarding a range of topics related to the proposed mine, including the following:
While some of these areas of uncertainty may be effectively addressed by the company, some may also be effectively addressed by the regulator through the provision of relevant information.
Although there was a broad range of experiences within workshop participant groups regarding the level of contact with Terramin personnel, two main themes emerged:
The findings of the five workshops, combined with the theoretical underpinnings of social licence to operate developed previously by CSIRO, were used to inform the design of the ‘anchor survey’.