Community Bulletin 37
Issued 18 February 2021
SREBA studies update
The NT Government has determined that a Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA) is required for the Beetaloo Sub-basin, in accordance with recommendations from the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing.
The Framework and technical guidance notes for each of the studies were released in 2020. There are six domains that comprise a SREBA, which are all at different stages of progression and are detailed below. A SREBA must be completed before any production approvals for unconventional gas activity occurs.
Beetaloo Regional Reference Group
The Beetaloo Regional Reference Group (BRRG) has been established. The BRRG is a consultative forum for community views and input regarding the SREBA studies for the specific region. Members are drawn from organisations based in the Beetaloo region:
- Barkly Regional Council
- Roper Gulf Regional Council
- Katherine Town Council
- Northern Land Council
- NT Farmers
- Sunrise Health Services
- Territory Natural Resource Management
- Territory Resources Services Association
- Sturt Plateau Best Practice Group
The objectives of the BRRG are to:
- provide a forum for members to discuss issues of community interest related to SREBA baseline research and studies
- draw on local knowledge and enhance the community voice in guiding and shaping SREBA baseline research and studies within the scope of the BRRG
- build community understanding of SREBA-related projects or activities
- communicate SREBA activities, projects and outcomes to local communities, and to relay local community feedback on these to DEPWS, researchers and specialists
- contribute to the development of the final SREBA study reports and regional baseline report and provide feedback on these.
Progress updates for the six SREBA domains in the Beetaloo Sub-basin
- Terrestrial studies: Detailed environmental mapping has been undertaken in the Beetaloo as part of the Geological and Bioregional Assessment (GBA) program, with further ecological studies as part of the SREBA to commence early in the dry season. The Scope of Works has been finalised.
- Aquatic studies: Some work has been undertaken as part of the GBA, with further studies under SREBA to commence early dry season once the scope of works is agreed.
- Water studies: Some groundwater studies have been undertaken as part of the GBA program. An expert workshop met mid-December to review and confirm the draft Scope of Works, with a final draft near completion. Field work is planned to commence early dry season.
- Greenhouse gas studies: Initial baseline assessments were undertaken in the region during 2018-2019. CSIRO have been contracted to undertake the SREBA Methane and Greenhouse Gas studies with field work commencing early in the dry season, with desk-based studies currently underway.
- Environmental health studies: The procurement for the development of a scope of works is under negotiation and expected to be finalised by the end of February.
- Social, Cultural and Economic studies: consultation commenced in the last quarter of 2020 to develop a scope of works, information obtained during the consultation is currently being reviewed for the next stage.