Taking place on Tuesday 3 September, three Conversations that Matter will be offered at ARS2019.

Each Conversation that Matter will be a facilitated panel discussion. Panelists will have knowledge of or represent policy, practitioners, industry, researchers and indigenous interests.

  • Social license to operate – whose responsibility is it anyway?

facilitated by Andrew Ash

Societal expectations about the environmental, social and cultural performance of industries involved in use of or development of natural resources have changed over the last few decades. This has led to industries needing to proactively manage societal concerns about their environmental impact, animal welfare, employment practices, indigenous engagement etc., which is now commonly referred to as social license to operate. While the term has most widely been applied in the mining industry, social license to operate is increasingly being used by other industries (agriculture, aquaculture, forestry etc) involved in the use of natural resources and where it has potential impact on local communities and wider society. In this conversation we explore social license to operate around a number of key issues:

– how to balance community and industry values?
– what are the standards that address social licence to operate and who drives the process?
– how are industries putting in place frameworks and standards to demonstrate they are meeting societal standards?
– who is best placed to provide quality assurance of industry performance?
– what are the implications for rangeland industries and communities if the social licence to operate is lost?
– what are the pathways forward in maintaining and building trust in resource-based industries in the rangelands?
– what is the role of government?


  • What policies will best support people in the Outback to adapt to a changing world?
    • facilitated by Barry Traill

• What are the fundamentals of good policy for remote Australia?
• What policies work now in remote Australia? What are the examples that have really delivered for people and country?
• What new approaches will be needed for issues such as climate change and new communication methods?
• How do we get good policy in place for remote communities that will probably always have relatively little political power?


  • Land of opportunity
    • facilitated by Kate Forrest

Rangelands provide value beyond the meat they produce, land holders are starting to materialise that value. What have we learnt about what enables this? What impact is this having on management and communities? What opportunities are on the horizon? What support is required to allow land managers and rangeland communities to benefit.

The opportunities that are arising from multiple use of land in rangelands – carbon and pastoralism, conservation and culture and pastoralism, energy production, tourism and conservation, natural capital, pastoralism and conservation, on-line businesses and land management. What impact is diversification having on individual businesses, industries and communities? Are there lessons on how to support land managers to take up new markets (carbon, biodiversity credits) ? What impact does this have on businesses, land value, institutions value of that property? How can policy for managing pastoral lands become more adaptable without putting land/businesses/communities at risk. Natural capital being valued by banks. Environmental stewardship payments to be piloted by Department of Ag.