Action item 11.8



50% Complete.
Government approval for consultation on draft policy, guideline, framework, Bill.

That a comprehensive assessment of the cultural impacts of any onshore shale gas industry must be completed prior to the grant of any production approvals. The cultural assessment must:

  • be designed in consultation with Land Councils and AAPA;
  • engage traditional Aboriginal owners, native title holders and the affected Aboriginal communities, and be conducted in accordance with world-leading practice; and
  • be resourced by the gas industry.
Target completion date

Stage 3.
To be completed by end December 2022.

Reform area
Respecting community and culture
Project action
Ensuring respectful consultation, information, and negotiation
Lead agency
Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet

Action item update

Implementation progress

The Strategic Regional and Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA) Framework PDF (39.7 MB) was released in July 2020. The consultation draft was available for public comment from 9 December 2019 to 28 February 2020. This framework includes the requirement to undertake a cultural impact assessment of areas that require a SREBA.

As part of the SREBA studies, the Cultural Impact Assessment requires consultation with land councils, AAPA and affected Aboriginal people and will be undertaken in the Beetaloo Sub-Basin.

The Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet contracted the University of Queensland (UQ) to undertake the social cultural and economic (SCE) studies in the region.

During 2021, UQ met with local organisations in Darwin and Katherine to develop a Scope of Works (SoW) for the SCE Study. The design of the SoW was then approved by UQs accredited Human Research Ethics Committee to ensure that the project is conducted properly and remains independent.

Approximately 40 key stakeholder groups, including land councils, Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, NT Government departments, regional councils, industry and business organisations, Native Title holders, pastoralists, interest and environment groups were engaged in the development of the SoW regarding boundaries, draft indicators and themes, data collection and engagement preferences.

The scope of works was endorsed by the Minister for Environment in early 2022. The first round of participatory workshops to co-design local relevant indicators are complete, and more data collection and on-country engagement will commence in May 2022.