Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft Social Impact Assessment Guideline State significant projects October 2020 (draft SIA Guideline) and the associated Technical Supplement to support the Social Impact Assessment Guideline for State-significant projects October 2020 (Technical Supplement). Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) has engaged extensively in the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s (Department’s) processes to strengthen environmental impact assessment. Our previous submissions on this topic are available on request.

As a community legal centre we are not specialists in social impact assessment (SIA). We have therefore limited our comments to areas where the draft SIA Guideline and Technical Supplement interact with the broader planning and project assessment framework, including concerns that have been raised with us by individuals and community groups who have experienced the application of the current Social Impact Assessment Guideline for State significant mining, petroleum production, and extractive industry developments (State significant resource projects) (current SIA Guideline). We are aware that a number of technical specialists intend to make submissions on the draft SIA Guideline and Technical Supplement and encourage the Department to appropriately incorporate that feedback.