Pilbara community groups are set to benefit from the launch of an extended survey program designed to provide them an opportunity to express their views and experiences with Rio Tinto. Initially launched as a pilot program in 2017, Rio Tinto has announced it would extend the Local Voices program for a further three years and would now be delivered by Voconiq. The survey results will be used to guide Rio Tinto’s operational and business decisions in the Pilbara region. Rio Tinto communities and social performance general manager Ainslie Bourne said the community’s insights were instrumental in shaping their operations. “We really value regular feedback from the community through the Local Voices program which has already helped to inform and guide our work with communities in the Pilbara,” she said. “Following the feedback received last year, we committed funds to develop a new state of the art childcare centre in Tom Price, extended our sponsorship of the West Pilbara Turtle Program and provided support packages to the City of Karratha and the Shire of Ashburton to assist economic stimulus initiatives. “The insights from Local Voices will continue to inform how we engage, develop and invest in the Pilbara, as well as address community feedback and concern because we know actions speak louder than words.” Previous surveys also highlighted the concerns of the community about the movements of Rio Tinto personnel in and out of Pilbara which resulted in the company directing resources and funding to its safety protocols. Voconiq chief executive Kieren Moffat said Local Voices was a way to help communities engage with the companies that operate alongside them.