To ensure that Beetaloo Sub-basin development benefits local and Indigenous communities, we:
- invested $1.9 million to develop a Beetaloo Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy (BAEDS)
- are delivering a Regional Development and Benefits Strategy under the refreshed Australian-NT Government MoU
- are establishing a $2.2 million Barkly Business Hub
- will work to identify the resources needed to ensure positive outcomes to Traditional Owners when developing Beetaloo
Development in the Beetaloo will result in a step change for communities in the local and regional surrounds. It can support additional resourcing for social infrastructure like housing, education facilities and health services. However, if mishandled there is a risk that local benefits associated with development in the Beetaloo may be temporary.
Maximising regional benefits is a core objective of the Australian and NT Governments’ support for Beetaloo development. The existing MoU emphasises it. Reinvigorating the MoU will strengthen commitment to this outcome. It will commit to establishing a Regional Development and Benefits Strategy.
This strategy will consider opportunities to:
- empower local decision-making
- strengthen planning frameworks
- realise the full range of economic benefits including for Indigenous businesses and workers
This work will build on the agenda established by the BAEDS. The BAEDS has identified opportunities to engage local and Indigenous businesses in the gas development value chain.
Opportunities are strongest in the early stages of development. To realise these opportunities, local businesses must demonstrate they can engage with large-scale gas operators.
The government will establish a $2.2 million Barkly Business Hub to help local businesses develop these capabilities. The hub will provide targeted business advice and services.
Land use agreements provide another avenue to generate benefits for local communities and Traditional Owners. These agreements compensate Traditional Owners for development activities on their land.
The Northern Land Council (NLC) has a specific statutory role in this process. They must consult with and represent the views of Traditional Owners in the Beetaloo region in land access negotiations.
Through the National Indigenous Australians Agency, the government will work with the NLC and Traditional Owners to identify:
- how to deliver best-practice land use agreements
- better outcomes from development of the Beetaloo for First Nations peoples