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 2022.

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).

Government has determined a SREBA is required for the Beetaloo sub-Basin.  The social, cultural and economic components of the SREBA studies have been recently contracted to the University of Queensland noting the cessation of the original contract with Circle Advisory.

These studies are underway, with the design of the scope of works recommencing in May 2021.

The final scope of works requires approval by an accredited Human Research Ethics Committee and will be presented for the Minister for Environment for approval prior to progressing to studies.

This process of designing the scope of works will inform the next steps for the Studies and Strategic Regional Assessment.

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.