Metgasco Limited v Minister for Resources and Energy – a watershed for stakeholder engagement

361 Degrees’ position that good engagement is underpinned by a robust process and the absence of stakeholder dissent is an ineffective measure of effectiveness has been confirmed in a recent decision of the NSW Supreme Court.

In the case of Metgasco Limited v Minister for Resources and Energy, Justice Button stated “….“effective consultation” to my mind focuses on the quality of the process of consultation, rather than on any outcome whereby the persons who are the focus of the consultation are persuaded by it”.

In finding in favour of Metgasco Limited, Justice Button ruled the decision of the Minister for Resources and Energy to suspend Metgasco’s mining operations was  “”invalid because, in asserting that a condition requiring “effective consultation” had been breached, it took into account an irrelevant consideration, that being the results of the consultation, rather than focusing upon the attributes of the consultation itself.

This ruling has the potential to profoundly change how organisations plan and implement their engagement processes and to positively position investment in robust engagement processes ahead of persuasive public relations and marketing campaigns.

You can read the full judgement by clicking here. The article exploring the implictions of a legal definition of effective engagement, written by Jamie Robertson and published in the Oil & Gas Review can be reviewed by clicking here.

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