Thursday, 8 December 2011

Dorrigo Environment Watch contradicts Anchor Resources claims concerning community consultation

Community consultation contradictions

In early November 2011 Dorrigo Environment Watch Inc undertook a survey of local residents near the Wild Cattle Creek Mine to substantiate Anchor Resource’s claims of wide community consultation. The results of the survey contradict these claims.
In an interview with Katya Quigley Coffs Coast ABC Radio on October 6th  2011 Anchor Resources General Manager Ian Price quoted ‘Anchor since it started exploration drilling, in about 2009 has consulted widely with the local residents particularly in the area affected by the project. We continue to do that as there are changes and we planned to do activities that’s included letter drops and face to face meetings with people. We are continuing that consultation into the local community, distributing an updated brochure to people in the community and will continue to do that work.’

A follow on interview on the 18th November 2011 reiterated Anchor’s claims about widely consulting with the local community and their community engagement project. 
Results from the survey found that 52% of landholders had received no communication from Anchor Resources, whilst 26% were contacted in 2009 with no further communication since. 17% of landholders had communications in 2009 and 2010 and 13% of landholders have been communicated with between 2009 to 2011. One of these landholders received over 96 emails from Anchor Resources in a 2 year period, mostly in relation to access agreements. The landholder survey conducted included 88% of known residents along Lower Bielsdown Road.

DEW is alarmed by the comments made by Mr Price in relation to community consultation. It is very misleading to state publicly that Anchor Resources has been consulting widely with the community and specifically with those living near the area most affected by the project when the survey findings clearly showed that a very small proportion of residents have actually been consulted. We feel false and misleading information about our community is being presented by Anchor Resources. Given this and Anchor Resources' refusal to attend or accept invitations to community public forums it follows a pattern occurring in communities throughout NSW affected by mining, where mining companies use tactics that have been described in parliament as ‘divide and conquer’.  We invite Anchor Resources to adopt best practice community engagement including organising and hosting an open public forum in Dorrigo where all community members are welcome.

Dorrigo Environment Watch Media Release 7 December 2011

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