SOCIAL IMPACTS ASSESSMENT
All change has consequences for people, which may be positive, negative or a combination of both. The role of a social impacts assessment is to identify what those impacts are likely to be, who will be affected and what can be done to prevent or mitigate potential negative impacts and support potential positive impacts.
Social impacts are given consideration in determinations by government agencies including local government Councils, the Land & Environment Court, Liquor & Gaming NSW and Federal Magistrates Court.
To be useful, social impacts opinions must have a clear evidence base.
Appropriate methods vary, depending on the scale of the initiative and the range of individuals or communities likely to be affected by it. Some authorities have defined social impacts assessment requirements in general; others may define them for specific instances. Components usually include:
- ✧ site inspection
- ✧ stakeholder consultations, which may be conducted through a public meeting, small group discussions and/or individual interviews
- ✧ database search and analysis (eg crime statistics, liquor licence data)
- ✧ review of relevant research literature and government policy documents
- ✧ Government Information Public Access (GIPA) applications when needed.
Dr Rigmor Berg has an Associate Professional Certificate in Expert Evidence and has provided social impacts assessment for government, community and private sector clients, as well as social impacts expert evidence in the Land & Environment Court.