Beetaloo Regional Reference Group - Meeting three Communique

Issued 31 Aug 2021

Date: Tuesday, 25 August 2021

Attendees: in person and online nominated representatives of: Katherine Town Council, Northern Land Council, Sturt Plateau Best Practice Group, Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security (DEPWS) staff, Department of Chief Minister and Cabinet (CM&C) staff.

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


The Beetaloo Regional Reference Group (BRRG) is a consultative forum for community views regarding, and providing input into, the Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA) studies within the Beetaloo Region.

Presentations from SREBA study teams

  • Social, cultural and economic studies
  • Environmental health studies
  • Methane and greenhouse gas studies

Discussion on presentations

  • Communication infrastructure/network is currently under stress.
  • Survey teams can engage BRRG members individually to seek feedback and assist in facilitating meetings with stakeholders.
  • The University of Queensland team is leading the development of the Social, Cultural and Economic study scope of works which will involve some stakeholder engagement.
  • Stakeholder demographics should be considered.
  • Public release of data may raise concerns for some stakeholders.
  • Current population data that captures seasonal workers should be collected.
  • Mental health will be considered within the Social, Cultural and Economic studies.
  • A baseline of air quality is an important consideration for the Environmental Health studies.
  • Unpopulated and remote areas have important food, recreational and cultural values.
  • Termites are an important consideration for the Greenhouse Gas study.

Progress and updates

  • A SREBA engagement strategy is being developed and a draft will be shared with the BRRG for feedback and advice.
  • Four finalised scopes of works are now available on the SREBA webpage.
  • A preliminary report on the knowledge gaps of water is now available on the SREBA webpage.
  • Field work for biophysical studies has commenced across the survey region.
  • The next BRRG meeting is scheduled for November 2021. Each team will be able to present preliminary findings and progress at this meeting.

Other business

  • Concern raised about changes identified in environmental surveys being attributed to stakeholders other than those within the gas industry. Similarly, concerns about misuse of SREBA data and findings that may negatively impact stakeholders.
  • Following this meeting, an information session covering topics of hydraulic fracturing and water allocation will be held.