12.7

Progress

25%

25% Complete.

Government approval of policy/process development.

That in order to operationalise an SIA framework in the NT, the Government must:

  • give the regulator power to request information from, and to facilitate the collaboration between, individual gas companies, government agencies (including local government), Land Councils, communities and potentially affected landholders;
  • establish a long-term participatory regional monitoring framework, overseen by the regulator, with secure funding from the gas industry and able to endure multiple election cycles; and
  • establish periodic and standardised reporting to communities on the social, cultural, economic and environmental performance of the industry through either the regulator or a specialised research institution. This includes information from the monitoring of key indicators, and an industry-wide complaints and escalation process.
Target completion date

Stage 3.
To be completed by end December 2021.

Reform area
Respecting community and culture
Project action
Building a comprehensive framework for social and cultural baselines
Lead agency
Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security
Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet

Action item update

Implementation progress

Strategic Regional and Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA)

The Framework for Strategic Regional and Environmental Baseline Assessment: A guide to undertaking a SREBA in the Northern Territory was released in July 2020 and can be found here PDF (39.7 MB).

In regions that require a SREBA, the social, cultural and economic component will be undertaken in three stages, that include:

  • Stage 1 - Scope of Works, that includes a project plan
  • Stage 2 - Baseline data and indicators developed in the region
  • Stage 3 – Strategic Regional Assessment and regional monitoring framework

Government has determined a SREBA is required for the Beetaloo sub-Basin.  The social, cultural and economic components of the SREBA studies in the Beetaloo sub-Basin have been contracted to Circle Advisory. These studies are underway, with the scope of works being developed from September 2020 and expected completion in December 2020.

The scope of works requires approval from the Minister for Environment. The studies are expected to formally commence in early 2021, once approved by the Minister.

Project-specific Social Impact Assessment (SIA)

The NT EPA is developing guidance for its ‘Communities and Economy’ factor, that will outline how SIA is expected to be undertaken by the regulator when required by legislation.

The NT Government is also developing a project-specific Social Impact Assessment Policy to address this recommendation.

Targeted consultation on the Social Impact Assessment Policy commenced in late 2019, and both draft documents are expected to be released for public consultation in Q1 2021.