Social License to Operate

Social Licence to Operate

The social license to operate is made up of three components: legitimacy, credibility, and trust.

AusNet need to partner with the community in every aspect of planning, development and decision making, including the development of alternatives and the identification of a preferred solution. Community engagement key to the success of any major infrastructure project and is most successful when it establishes and delivers on clear expectations and gives people the opportunity to influence decisions.

Social license is another thing again: the informal “license” granted to a company by various stakeholders who may be affected by the company’s activities. Such a license is based on trust and confidence – hard to win, easy to lose.

The social license to operate is made up of three components: legitimacy, credibility, and trust.

Legitimacy: this is the extent to which an individual or organisation plays by the ‘rules of the game’. That is, the norms of the community, be they legal, social, cultural, formal or informal in nature.

Credibility: this is the individual or company’s capacity to provide true and clear information to the community and fulfil any commitments made.

Trust: this is the willingness to be vulnerable to the actions of another. It is a very high quality of relationship and takes time and effort to create.

To regain its Social License to Operate, AusNet need to place decision-making in the hands of the community and implement what the community decides, not use old technology and present alternative corridors that do not minimise impacts and simply do not work.

“AusNet needs to do better, the government needs to pay attention, and all behind the project need to get it right. If they don’t, the social licence of renewables will be significantly harmed.”

Catherine King MP, Member for Ballarat

“The Government has been urging us for years now to leave behind the energy generation of the past – that is coal and gas – and yet here it is proposing to connect the energy generation of the future with the transmission technology of the 20th Century”

Danny O'Brien MP, Member for Gippsland South

“The failure of the RIT-T process to fully consider the WVTNP’s costs, in the manner of a full economic impact assessment, seems extraordinary.”

Beverley McArthur MP, Member for Western Victoria Region

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