Summary: Social Impact Assessment (SIA)
- The process employed by the proponents is not adequate to the task of assessing social impacts of this magnitude. The basic proposition that the social effects of a project of this enormous scale and complexity can be known and mitigated by good planning and social programs is false.
- The words “consent” and ”social licence”, two fundamental principles for social impact are not mentioned in relevant sections of the EIS. It is clear that informed consent has not been achieved. Given the wide ranging impacts of this large scale development, this is not adequate.
- All the risks/impacts on local communities identified in the EIS are rated as medium or above “post mitigation”. The cumulative impact of these risks does not appear to have been considered, and will be significant.
- The scale of the project, and the cumulative social risk it represents, make the social risks uncontrollable; and this uncontrollable risk is generated by the project, not the people.
- This change in the social structure, to an industrial society with uncontrollable risk, has the consequence of damaging Sepik people’s cultural identity and autonomy.
- More risk is the same as society having less security. As people feel less secure, uncontrollable conflict, violence and poor individual mental health increase (Barcham 2012:170).