Proponents of projects may be required to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) under either the:

  • State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971, or
  • Environmental Protection Act 1994.

EIS's must include a social impact assessment.

The social impact assessment identifies the potential social impacts directly related to the project and proposes strategies to capitalise on social opportunities and to avoid, mitigate and manage the identified project impacts.

The social impact assessment covers:

  • community and stakeholder engagement
  • workforce management
  • housing and accommodation
  • local business and industry content
  • health and community wellbeing.

Assessment process

During the assessment, the project proponent is required to engage with communities, local government and state government agencies.

The assessment involves the collection of qualitative and quantitative data. This data enables the existing, or baseline, social conditions to be assessed and provides a basis for identifying potential project impacts.

Once the impacts are identified, the proponent consults with impacted communities and government to develop impact management strategies.

Proponents are then required to implement, monitor, review and report on their impact management strategies.

Download guideline

Social impact assessment guideline (PDF icon 228 KB)

Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017

The object of the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017 (PDF icon 425 KB) is to introduce legislation to ensure that residents of communities in the vicinity of large resource projects benefit from the construction and operation of the projects.

View more information (PDF icon 134 KB).

The Act will:

  • prevent the use of 100 per cent fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforce arrangements on operational large resource projects
  • through amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, prevent discrimination against locals in the future recruitment of workers
  • adopt a recruitment hierarchy prioritising recruitment from local and regional communities first then recruitment to the regional community
  • make an enhanced social impact assessment (SIA) mandatory for large resource projects
  • ensure SIA processes under both the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 are the same.

A draft social impact assessment guideline was tabled when the Bill was introduced to Parliament on 8 November 2016 and is currently being finalised.

The Act will commence on 30 March 2018.