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Social Impact Assessment

The Social Impact Assessment Guideline and supporting resources.

The Social Impact Assessment Guideline helps deliver a clear and consistent approach to assessing the social impacts of state significant projects.

The guideline provides a framework to identify, predict and evaluate likely social impacts of major projects and propose responses, providing greater clarity and certainty for proponents and the community.

All state significant projects need to prepare a social impact assessment (SIA) in accordance with the guideline.

View the guideline

The SIA Technical Supplement provides further guidance for using the Social Impact Assessment Guideline. The SIA Scoping Worksheet  is an optional tool for use at the scoping stage. 

Social Impact Assessments: The Value Add

Supporting resources

Social Locality

The SIA Guideline requires all state significant projects with social impacts to map and define the project social locality.

The term ‘social locality’ is similar to ‘area of social influence’, commonly used in SIA practice. There is no fixed meaning or predefined geographic boundary to a social locality. The scale of the social locality should be established on a case-by-case basis, and define the extent of the project's social impact. Identifying the social locality begins with understanding the nature of the project, the characteristics of affected communities, and where positive and negative impacts may be experienced by different people.

Use the videos to understand the differing complexity of social locality.

Engaging Aboriginal Communities

Engaging with Aboriginal communities is a specialised area, which requires a culturally sensitive approach. This Practice Note provides guidance on understanding the value of this engagement and the principles and protocols to consider when planning for and engaging with Aboriginal communities for social impact assessment.

Project Refinements

SIA aims to improve social outcomes from projects. This Project Refinements Practice Note provides examples of how to achieve better social outcomes by refining projects early on. It also showcases how these refinements and subsequent outcomes should be documented in a clear and transparent way.

Social Impact Management Toolbox

The Social Impact Management Toolbox complements the SIA Guideline by providing guidance on managing social impacts and implementing Social Impact Management Plans (SIMPs).

It is designed for proponents and their contractors. It includes a range of approaches you can choose for the adaptive and proactive management of social impacts. It will help you move from managing complaints and issues to engaging positively with affected communities.

Related resources

More information

For more information on social impact assessment:

Confined social locality (minimal social impacts or benefits)

Diverse social locality (complex social impacts or benefits)