SREBA FAQs

  • Information collected from baseline studies and from ongoing monitoring and compliance programs will be publicly available, provided this does not breach privacy and confidentiality requirements or unduly compromise regulatory or commercial activities.

    Public release of SREBA data and findings is a clear commitment from the Inquiry and is important to ensure transparency.

    However, most people are likely to be more interested in the findings of the SREBA after the data has been analysed and synthesised and much of this information will be presented as generalised maps or diagrams.

  • Point data (data collected from a site, along with the location) collected during SREBA will generally be publicly available.  As described above, transparency around the point data legitimises the findings of the SREBA.

    Similar point data from other studies is already freely available through data portals such as the Atlas of Living Australia or NR Maps NT.

    However, the SREBA studies are not usually interested in focusing at what occurs at a particular site.

    Sample sites are chosen because they are representative of a particular habitat or set of environmental conditions.

    The data from each site is then used to predict or map what we may expect to find in those particular habitats across the region as whole.

  • The SREBA program does not aim to document sacred sites and does not have the authority to do that.  SREBA teams are working closely with the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) to ensure survey activities pose no risk to Aboriginal Sacred Sites.

    In some cases (such as drilling new bores), this requires us to obtain an Authority Certificate, which involves AAPA consulting with traditional owners about any sacred sites or culturally restricted areas in the local area.

  • Many of the threatened plant and animal species likely to be found in the region have previously been identified and their distribution is partly understood. Collecting additional information through SREBA will build upon our understanding of where each species occurs across the region so we can provide more precise and detailed advice about how they may be affected by potential development.

    This is likely to reduce the survey work that proponents may be required to do in the future.

    For example, current knowledge of the Crested Shrike-tit (a listed threatened bird species) suggests that it can potentially occur in all woodlands in the Beetaloo region. Currently any major land clearing application may trigger a requirement to do more local surveys for this species. However, the data collected during the SREBA will increase our knowledge of where the species does and doesn’t occur, and reduce the likelihood further surveys are required.

  • Land managers wishing to undertake land clearing must satisfy certain information requirements as part of the regulatory process.   The data collected during SREBA will help landowners meet these information requirements.

    SREBA will also provide substantially more regional-scale information to the regulator than is currently available, so that assessment can focus on any real issues of concern.

    Sectors of the community opposing land clearing typically use the lack of environmental information as a key reason why applications shouldn’t be approved.

  • No.  Access to water for stock and domestic use are fundamental rights that will not be impacted by SREBA findings.

    Finding stygofauna in groundwater helps us to understand the distribution of the different species, and the extent to which aquifers are connected. There is currently no indication to suggest that stygofauna are threatened species or have been negatively impacted by current land uses.

  • The final reports from the SREBA studies will be based on objective, scientific analysis and reporting of the data that has been collected. Factual and clearly explained information will be provided in accessible formats to all stakeholders at the conclusion of the project. SREBA findings will help dispel misinformation and reduce confusion on many aspects of the Beetaloo Sub-basin area.

  • No – activists use the lack of perceived lack of information as a key reason for not undertaking any development in this region.  Availability of accurate and up to date data will ensure all stakeholders are informed. SREBA findings will help to dispel a lot of misinformation, or mischievously false claims, that are circulating in the public arena.

    The Social, Cultural and Economic study of the SREBA will also document the positive values of businesses currently operating in study region in the same way the biophysical studies capture the environmental values.

  • In addition to the current field studies, the SREBA research teams are developing their understanding of long-term variation by collating recent and historical records and building on previous research. Most study teams and organisations have worked extensively in the region for many years and have an understanding of the historical context.

    Important information about the extent of longer term variation can also be gained from, for example, the analysis of several decades of satellite imagery.

    The SREBA will also be important in providing sufficient baseline to design powerful ongoing monitoring programs that can further document and account for long-term variation.

  • The SREBA studies aim to establish a baseline of the Beetaloo region in its current state, with a primary purpose being the ability to detect future changes that may occur as a result of the development of the onshore gas industry.

    Assessing environmental change that may have occurred as a result of existing land uses is not the role of SREBA.

  • Findings from the SREBA will inform water allocation planning processes into the future. The need for a water allocation plan is another outcome of the Inquiry, and will help guarantee that adequate water is always available for existing land uses including pastoralism.

  • The SREBA studies are mostly focused in understanding the spatial distribution to plants and animals in the region and will also provide some greater understanding of their relative abundance.

    It is important to understand that there are stringent criteria about the information that is required before a species can be officially listed as threatened.  Scientists understand that recording numbers of animal and plants in one instance or site does not indicate the actual population or extent of a species, and this information is accumulated in multiple studies over time, or intensive targeted research.

  • The SREBA scientists understand the short and long term variation in climate in the Beetaloo Sub-basin region and the various impacts that can have on ecosystems. Using historical data and data from previous research will help account for climatic variations and how that is reflected in any single sampling period.