What did we do?
In early 2020 the Department started drafting the regulations to support the commencement of the revised Mining Act, which was scheduled to commence in January 2021.
Under legislation, the South Australian public needs to be informed and engaged on the development of regulations. The Department wanted to ensure all interested parties had the opportunity to participate and provide feedback into the draft mining regulations before they were finalised.
Our key objectives were to:
engage interested stakeholders and consult with them in the drafting of regulations for the Statutes Amendment (Mineral Resources) Bill 2019
ensure that the draft regulations identify and consider issues resulting from changes to the Act from a variety of perspectives.
Planning to engage multiple stakeholders across South Australia and other Jurisdictions commenced early and this helped us capture the views of a number of interested and affected parties.
How did we do it?
Due to COVID, which brought significant challenges to our engagement strategy, interacting with the general public face to face was not possible so all activities were moved online.
We used digital tools to spread the information and collect feedback, such as:
- a rolling series of video info graphic stories
- live webinars
- 2 separate meet the minister events
- focused stakeholder online engagements
- appointment bookings for general public enquiries
- regular email updates, and newsletters
- Twitter and Facebook posts
- Mailout information on request
- The YourSAy website
What went well?
Significant planning prior to commencement recognised the need to ensure technology was able to support the engagement. Using internal technical skills, we tested the technology to ensure meetings were professionally managed.
Outsourcing the webinars lifted the engagement experience for all involved.
Providing regular information and updates to stakeholders and considering their contributions and feedback to help shape the new regulations.
Ensuring that stakeholders had the opportunity to directly engage with the Minister and ask questions at the start and finish of the engagement period.
Informing regional stakeholders of our approach using local media and digital platforms. Printed media was also displayed in all major regional centre informing people of the engagement and how to be involved.
Extensive engagement with key stakeholders and their affiliates provided the opportunity to understand the issues impacting on industry groups, communities, conservation groups and Aboriginal groups as well as build and nurture our relationships.
Key communication stats
- 205 posters informing about the draft regulation’s consultation period were distributed in 10 regions and 35 towns in key visible public spaces before and during the consultation.
- 20 separate emails were sent to 835 specific stakeholders during public consultation and to 38,606 registered YourSAy members with a 42% per cent email open rate.
- 7,621 visits to the DEM website, which hosted a full range of information about the draft regulations.
- 70 specific email and phone enquiries managed.
- 4 videos on the draft regulation’s changes with 941 views in total.
- 38 radio spots advertised the public consultation period across four local radio stations across the state.
- 3 advertisements placed during the consultation period in four regional newspapers with substantial community reach.
- 553,056 Facebook impressions with 1,921 clicks, 52 post reactions and 21 post shares. 2,330 Instagram impressions and 13 clicks.
- 2 ‘Listen to the Minister’ online sessions with 78 registrations.
- 17 individuals or organisations attended the Aboriginal stakeholder-specific webinar.
- Over 50 people attended the SA government information webinar
- Display advertising in York Peninsula, Murray Bridge, Port Lincoln, and Adelaide had over 758,000 views and a click through rate of 0.19 per cent.
- Online engagement through the YourSAy website resulted in 23 feedback surveys received.
What would we do differently next time?
The main concerns expressed during the consultations about the engagement process related timeframes, lack of physical meetings and whether the consultations themselves should be postponed due to COVID -19.
The pandemic and the short time frame for engaging on the regulations stretched the department’s resources in many areas. There was extensive effort put into ensuring the information was clear and concise, accessible, readable and relevant.
Digital engagement is possible and a reliable mechanism for consulting with stakeholders. It is important to take more time and support stakeholders where necessary and allow for technical hic ups along the way.