This report presents the research findings from the project: Understanding local readiness for closure – initiating a multi-stakeholder participatory approach. The project piloted the Town Transition Tool (TTT) at Rosebery, a small mining town on the west coast of Tasmania. Rosebery Mine, owned by MMG, produces zinc, copper, lead and gold.
The TTT is a diagnostic instrument developed by the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) at the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute to support an integrated approach to mine closure planning. It is structured around two workshops; the first is held with company representatives (the internal workshop) followed by a multi-stakeholder workshop involving representatives from the mining company, state and local government, and community organisations (external workshop). The workshops enable participants to share knowledge and data about the town or local community, and identify the gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed to support closure planning.
The primary aim of this research is to document and analyse the implementation of the TTT, including identification of its strengths and opportunities for improvement. The tool will be updated to reflect the research findings. A secondary aim is to assess the TTT’s potential for application at regional scale.
A multi-method qualitative research design was adopted for the project, which was undertaken in four stages: workshop planning, internal workshop, external workshop and post-workshop meeting. Data was generated through candid, semi-structured interactive observation; short qualitative surveys; and in-depth, semi-structured interviews.
The research showed that the TTT’s structured approach provides a good starting point for dialogue, enables a shared understanding of the current state and helps to address the sense of paralysis that can occur when stakeholders seek to tackle the complexity of the post-mining transition. Feedback from community participants about the external workshop was overwhelmingly positive. The strengths most frequently discussed by research participants were the compilation of qualitative and quantitative data and identification of gaps in the data; the opportunity for stakeholders to gather together to share their perspectives about mine closure and a post-mining future; and the benefit of having the workshops led by professional facilitators who are independent and able to ensure all participants are heard.
Worden, S., Mackenzie, S., & Bourke, P. (2022). Understanding local readiness for closure – initiating a multi-stakeholder participatory approach. CRC TiME Limited., Brisbane, Australia.