This paper focuses on the why and how of ensuring that communities in other countries who are impacted by the activities of Australian mining companies can access grievance mechanisms that are fair, trusted and effective. Specific questions addressed are:
- Why is it important to have such mechanisms in place?
- What sorts of remedies are currently available to communities in other countries who consider that they have been adversely affected by the actions of Australian mining companies?
- What actions could companies take, either individually or collectively, to improve processes for addressing community grievances?
- What are some next steps for generating a broader dialogue around these issues?
The paper is primarily targeted towards industry, rather than government or civil society. However, it is recognised that all stakeholders must eventually have input into the debate about whether and how grievance mechanisms in the minerals industry can be strengthened. Momentum for an open, multi-stakeholder debate on this issue is building. The industry has an opportunity to be an active and constructive participant in this debate and to help shape the emerging agenda. To this end, the paper canvasses the idea of an industry roundtable to discuss a possible way forward.