You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.


Resources company Santos and its joint venture partners in the Barossa gas project are to invest millions of dollars in Northern Territory coastal Aboriginal communities and homelands.

Up to $10 million will be spent as the project progresses.

But chief executive Kevin Gallagher says he expects the Barossa Aboriginal Future Fund will deliver more than $100 million during the 20-year extension to the life of Darwin LNG.

The first gas from Barossa is expected to be piped to the plant at Wickham Point in the third quarter of 2025.

Santos says the investment will go towards improving community and homeland infrastructure and services, as well as programs that enable Aboriginal people to maintain cultural practices and carry out cultural obligations, care for their country and establish pathways to skilled, well-paying, secure jobs and business opportunities.

Communities to benefit include the Tiwi Islands, East Arnhem, West Arnhem, Darwin-Daly-Wagait and Victoria River district.

Aboriginal people will have a real voice in establishing governance arrangements and the investment mandate for the fund, and in selecting priority projects for funding.

Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher says the Barossa joint venture partners are committed to “real and practical action” to help close the gap on Aboriginal disadvantage in the Northern Territory.

“Training, education and good jobs are a universal foundation for human progress,” he says. “They are the building blocks for individual social and economic empowerment, and just as importantly, for stronger, more resilient families and communities.

“Achieving better employment outcomes for Aboriginal Territorians depends on investments such as Barossa gas and Darwin LNG life extension to provide new jobs, business and other opportunities.

“Santos deeply respects the cultural heritage of Aboriginal people and we will continue to consult with them on all aspects of Barossa as the project progresses.

“We are bringing Aboriginal people to the table regarding decisions that impact them and making sure they have a say in what their communities need.

“Sharing the benefits of projects like Barossa is a practical and meaningful step we can take towards closing the gap through providing employment, infrastructure, health, training and education.”

The Barossa gas and Darwin LNG life extension projects are already training and employing Aboriginal Territorians.

Santos and partner KAEFER, which provides scaffolding, mechanical and fabric maintenance services for the LNG plant, have also set up a training program for Indigenous Territorians.

There have been more than 90 applicants and 15 trainees and apprentices have started work with KAEFER; a second group is to be taken on in May-June.