16 February 2023

Surat locals encouraged to have their say on future energy development

University of Queensland researchers are calling on community members and business leaders alike to help explore the expected benefits and challenges of future energy development in the Surat Basin.

The research, being conducted by the UQ Centre for Natural Gas, will use focus groups to develop an understanding of how regional communities expect to benefit from new energy projects and to explore the range of pathways for creating shared value for regional people.

Project leader, Dr Katherine Witt, has been researching the social impacts of the natural gas sector in the Surat Basin for more than a decade. This research identifies and builds on lessons learned from previous project development in the region.

“Across the development of the natural gas industry we have refined our research methodologies so they are now relevant for a variety of energy megaprojects, regardless of energy source or geographic location,” she said.

“There is the clear expectation that new energy projects – such as onshore gas, large-scale renewables and potentially hydrogen – should deliver real and lasting benefits for the regional communities that host them.

“This research seeks to better understand the types of values that can be created and the pathways for creating them, from a local community’s perspective,” said Dr Witt.

Two focus groups will be held in Dalby, one for interested community members (limited to 12 participants) and the other for those who may be more directly involved in new energy projects from a business, community organisation or governance perspective.

The confidential two-hour focus groups will be held in Dalby:

  • 1:00pm to 3:00pm, 13 March 2023 (subject matter experts forum)
  • 5:30pm to 7:30pm, 13 March 2023 (community-focused forum)

Community participants will receive a small honorarium to thank them for their time and light refreshments will be available.

For more information or to register for the focus groups click here.

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