Respecting Community and Culture
As the Northern Territory develops and new industries establish, it is important to manage growth in a way that enhances our Territorian way of life, respecting the cultural, recreational and environmental assets we hold dear.
Embedding respect for our communities and the people that live in the Northern Territory is critical to ensure Territorians gain the greatest benefit from industry expansion, while mitigating and reducing social impacts.
The Northern Territory Government will introduce a Social Impact Assessment policy to manage the impact emerging industries can have on the lives and lifestyles of Territorians. Regulatory triggers can be detected through the environmental assessment process and moderated under the Environment Assessment Act 1982.
Gas companies will be required to complete a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) for endorsement by the regulator. Impacts they identify will be mitigated through a Social Impact Management Plan.
The government will work with traditional owners through land councils, native title holders, pastoralists and regional communities to build comprehensive regional, social, health and cultural baseline information about what is important to them in their areas. Information gathered will range from recreational hotspots to health and wellbeing data. Information will be developed for open use except where information is deemed sensitive or confidential.
The baseline will inform SIAs and management plans for the development of the unconventional onshore gas industry in the Northern Territory.
Impacts need to be identified and responded to at all stages of development. This emerging industry must be culturally sensitive to the communities in which it operates and engage communities, particularly Aboriginal communities, in an informed and collaborative way without placing undue burden on them.
The Northern Territory Government will develop and release guidelines to assist gas companies to identify social impacts.
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