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BMA Smart Transformation Project

Nestled in the Bowen Basin, 1,000 kilometres north of Brisbane, are Moranbah and Dysart — two communities that are central to our Queensland mining operations at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and home to the Smart Transformation Project, a BMA supported, community-driven initiative that is working to future-proof the towns in the face of technological change.  

Smart Transformation began in 2019, as the community saw the increasing application of new technologies at local mining operations including BMA’s Goonyella Riverside mine which introduced autonomous haulage trucks. BMA recognised the introduction, along with other potential future technological advancements in the mining sector would create both impacts and opportunities for the communities where we operate. To build a stronger future for Dysart and Moranbah, BMA supported the development of Smart Transformation, to bring together everyone from across the two towns as well as those organisations that could support the communities’ aspirations. 

At the heart of Smart Transformation are the Smart Transformation Advisory Councils operating in each town, made up of innovative and collaborative community leaders who work voluntarily on the project. These empowered community leaders provide broad representation from a range of local sectors and are responsible for engagement locally with their friends, family and work colleagues to identify the challenges and opportunities for the community, and to set and pursue priorities to help future-proof the community. BMA’s Saraji mine General Manager sits on the Dysart Smart Transformation Advisory Council while the Goonyella Riverside mine General Manager sits on the Moranbah Smart Transformation Advisory Council.  Both are also involved in working with the Smart Transformation Youth Advisory Council which operates to ensure there is a youth voice to the project, through participation from local high school students. 

While BMA is an active participant, Smart Transformation is independently facilitated. Work is focused on the implementation of the community roadmap, which was developed through extensive consultation around the three themes of: skills and training, business opportunities and community wellbeing.   

Since inception, Smart Transformation has delivered several important outcomes for Dysart and Moranbah, including: 

  • The Digital Connectivity Project is enhancing digital connectivity to both towns to support current and new businesses and industry, schools, and community groups. BHP is proud to be partnering with Telstra, local Council and government, and other local organisations in the delivery of this important project.  
  • A regional innovation research project is exploring over a 30-year time horizon key opportunities for Dysart and Moranbah to participate in innovation projects, research, testing and manufacturing in the Isaac region.   
  • The Isaac Childcare Leadership Alliance has been established to help improve access to childcare. Formed by Smart Transformation through childcare roundtables involving childcare businesses, the local Council and industry representatives, the Alliance will help address access to childcare, underpinned by a A$1.2 million commitment from BMA over two years. 

BMA’s support for Smart Transformation has and continues to be, acknowledged by community members as an innovative, empowering and enabling approach.