Background to the Community Engagement Plan
This Community Engagement Plan will set out Gippsland Critical Mineral’s planned community engagement for the Fingerboards Critical Minerals Project (the project) in East Gippsland, Victoria.
It will describe the purpose, objectives, methods, and activities to meet community engagement requirements for the project and will give Gippsland Critical Minerals a clear and effective framework to maximise community involvement and achieve the best possible stakeholder engagement outcomes.
It will provide the basis for Gippsland Critical Minerals to engage purposefully, openly, and effectively with the community and all stakeholders for the life of the project.
Community engagement is based on an understanding and respect for a range of community values and needs, clear and open communication, and engagement activities that are purpose-designed and targeted to meet the expectations of different community interests.
The Company commenced its initial community engagement activities in 2014 and prepared a preliminary stakeholder engagement plan in June 2015.
A Community Engagement Plan was then prepared and approved by Earth Resources Regulation in March 2017. A further revision occurred in December 2019, based on feedback from the Technical Reference Group.
A further three years of landowner interactions, community meetings, briefings and presentations, as well as e-mail, web and media communications will inform the revision of the plan in 2023.
Gippsland Critical Minerals has learned some valuable lessons about the values and attitudes of community stakeholders, including their engagement preferences, and has actively solicited and documented those views through its on-going engagement activities and in the Environment Effects Statement for the project.
This plan will be developed in accordance with the Community Engagement Guidelines for Mining and Mineral Exploration in Victoria and incorporates concepts developed by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).
Gippsland Critical Minerals recognizes that to build trust and credibility with its stakeholders it must:
- Seek to understand community values and respect them.
- Actively seek stakeholder views and listen respectfully to concerns.
- Provide clear and timely information to the community so that they can make informed decisions about the project.
- Ensure all stakeholders have access to information and opportunities to participate in the stakeholder engagement process.
- Inform stakeholders of opportunities to influence aspects of the project.
- Demonstrate how community views have been considered in the decision-making process.
- Maintain adequate documentation of engagement and regulatory compliance.
Gippsland Critical Minerals will achieve this by:
- Identifying different stakeholder groups and designing consultation to meet their needs and expectations.
- Clarifying roles and responsibilities for stakeholder engagement to ensure consistency of approach and that stakeholders have accessible points of contact.
- Establishing systems and processes to support stakeholder engagement activities.
- Making sufficient investment in stakeholder engagement to ensure comprehensive and inclusive engagement.
- Providing opportunities for involving and communicating with stakeholders, ensuring open, transparent, timely and informed engagement occurs.
- Providing a process by which project planning can consider matters raised by stakeholders at the earliest possible stage.
- Reducing the potential for stakeholder dissatisfaction due to misunderstandings about the project or the engagement process.