Beetaloo Regional Reference Group – Meeting six Communique

Issued 22 Aug 2022

Date: Wednesday 3 August 2022

Attendees: nominated representatives of Northern Land Council, Sturt Plateau Best Practice Group, Katherine Town Council, NT Farmers Association, Barkly Regional Council, University of Queensland staff and Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security (DEPWS) staff.

Apologies: Sunrise Health, Territory Resource Services Association and Territory Natural Resource Management, Roper Gulf Council.


The Beetaloo Regional Reference Group (BRRG) is a consultative forum for communication with key regional stakeholders based in the Beetaloo for guiding and informing the Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA) studies within the Beetaloo Region.

Progress and updates

Updates on the progress of Environmental Health, Water Quality and Quantity, Greenhouse Gases, Terrestrial Ecosystems, Aquatic Ecosystems and Social, Cultural and Economic studies were provided by team leaders. Studies have either completed or in the process of completing field surveys and data collection, and are transitioning to data analysis and reporting.

The Environmental Health studies have commenced with a selection of several ongoing monitoring air quality sites throughout the region. Population health, soil and water quality studies are underway.

The Water studies team has installed more than 10 new monitoring bores, with ongoing monitoring at more than 10 existing bores. The team has established regional water level monitoring to support the Water Allocation Planning (WAP) process within the region.

Prior to the end of 2022, the water study will:

  • update the NT aquifers spatial product for the Beetaloo region
  • report improved understanding of surface-groundwater interactions
  • scope an upgrade to the Daly-Roper numerical water model
  • provide additional information to the WAP process.

The Greenhouse Gas studies have completed several mobile surveys and installed ongoing monitoring devices throughout the survey region. In September 2022 the team will complete a final survey of targeted sites. Current methane baseline sources and levels are in line with average values.

Terrestrial studies have surveyed 659 full floristic sites, approximately 7000 rapid assessment flora sites, 97 fauna inventory sites and several targeted threatened species surveys. More than 1000 species of plants, 48 mammal, 202 bird, 102 reptile, 14 amphibian and approximately 700 invertebrate species have been recorded to date.

The Social, Cultural and Economic surveys have completed several rounds of workshops and consultations, and are collecting data to inform key indicators from the region. The team will continue to engage with communities and stakeholders through to the end of September.

The Aquatic Ecosystems survey has finalised general aquatic field surveys and begun laboratory and data analysis. One final targeted survey of the Gulf Snapping Turtle will be completed in August.

The SREBA management team is focused on the development of the SREBA database and the Data Management Strategy for SREBA.

SREBA teams will present preliminary findings to key stakeholders followed by completion and submission of final reports in December 2022. A roadshow for communicating SREBA outputs is planned for early 2023.

Topics of discussion

Feedback was sought from the committee on the utilisation of the POINT website, design and accessibility of SREBA data and webpages and opportunities for the Water Resources Division of DEPWS to engage with committee members throughout the draft planning phase of the Wiso Basin and Georgina Basin Water Allocation process.

Download BRRG meeting presentation - August 2022 PDF (6.4 MB)