Controversial $3.6 billion Narrabri gas project in NSW green-lit by federal government

The Morrison government has approved a controversial gas field in northwest NSW, paving the way for the $3.6 billion coal seam project to go ahead.

24/11/2020 12:28:00 PM

The Morrison government has approved a controversial gas field in northwest NSW, paving the way for the $3.6 billion coal seam project to go ahead.

Oil and gas giant Santos has been given the go-ahead to build its Narrabri project over 95,000 hectares of forest and nearby grazing land in northwest NSW.

Share on TwitterThe Morrison government has approved a controversial gas field in northwest NSW, paving the way for the $3.6 billion coal seam project to go ahead.Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said her approval was based on the Commonwealth's expert science committee on coal seam gas.

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"I am satisfied that the conditions, and the staged nature of work in the area, will safeguard the biodiversity of the Pilliga Forest," she said on Tuesday.Oil and gas giant Santos has been given the go-ahead to build its Narrabri project over 95,000 hectares in the forest and nearby grazing land.

It involves drilling 850 new gas wells over 20 years.READ MOREFederal approval conditions to protect water in the area include an early warning system with ongoing bore-monitoring to identify potential groundwater issues.A chemical risk assessment framework will be in place for coal seam gas operations.

Santos will also be bound to stop work at gas wells if a groundwater exceedance is predicted, while 134 other state government conditions must be met.The NSW conditions include clearing limits, impact mitigation and land rehabilitation criteria.Local farmer Scott McCalman said landholders across the Narrabri district were furious about the approval.

"It is frankly disgusting that state and federal governments would just write off 23,000 submissions against this destructive gas field and ignore the science that shows it will threaten our groundwater," he said.A demonstrator holds a placard to protest against Santos' plans for the Narrabri gas field

AAPResources Minister Keith Pitt said Santos had linked 200 jobs directly to the project with a further 1300 roles in the construction phase."This decision paves the way for Australia to make the most of our own abundant natural resources and will provide a big boost to the local manufacturing industry," he said.

Traditional owner Polly Cutmore said Gomeroi people would continue to fight the project."Scott Morrison doesn't decide for us, the Independent Planning Commission doesn't decide for us what happens on our country," she said."We do, not them. These policies and procedures are just to suit white men, not us."

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READ MOREEight in ten Australians fear climate change will cause more bushfires and want a transition away from coalLeft-leaning think tank the Australia Institute's climate director Richie Merzian said the project would do nothing to improve energy security and reliability.

"The federal government's decision to approve the Narrabri gas project not only endangers water and the environment, but will permanently lock NSW manufacturers into high gas prices," he said.The Climate Council's Lesley Hughes said the government should instead be helping Australia become a world leader in renewable energy.

"The Narrabri project will have devastating impacts on local biodiversity and water resources, and will accelerate dangerous climate change," Professor Hughes said."Australia does not need new gas, and a majority of Australians don't want it."

Read more: SBS News »

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SussanLey is more an enabler for the mining industry than an environment minister. Shame on her. 😡 Sussan hates the Environment LNP supports the Climate-Wrecking Industry & are basically signing the death warrant of our children & grandchildren. How is that OK? Vote this science denying govt out at the next election or we're done for. auspol renewableenergy scomosgottago LNPfail

Sick of greed. So sick. I’m sure people who are struggling enough in the Pilliga region, running farms, businesses living in that bush land really want this. Most of the smaller towns use bore water and local rivers when flowing to fish. They’ll destroy these people. They won’t go down without a fight.

Excellent! VoteSustainable Farmers ought to shoot gas trespassers on their land. They are after all stealing/poisoning the water that keeps them on their land. Ridiculous Yeh, 'cause fuck renewables! They don't pay his wage like the mining companies. Resell value for North West Sydney has just plummeted

How do they keep getting these things through? Why aren't the opposition fighting harder to prevent this from happening? Fingers crossed Australia votes with their feet and stamp out this corrupt, money hungry, short sighted & volatile government come next election! deniseshrivell There should be a plebiscite for public’s permission for fracking in Australia. Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should. This last ditch to appease the gas industry is a permanent assault on the substrate of our country.

deniseshrivell Pay miner to plant trees not devastate the landscape and threaten water supplies. That way AU would have some future benefit and carbon sequestration from all those subsidies being paid to prop up the fossil fuel industry wait, there is still a market for gas? Oh well, there goes the southern half of the Great Artesian Basin. Adani, or whatever they’ve cunningly renamed themselves, will take care of polluting the northern part, and there goes about 1/7th of our underground water.

😡😢 koalakiller SBS 🤬🤬🤬 Guarantee if there was a system where they had to ask the public what they want in a poll it would be an overwhelming no. Our tax money goes to these corrupt wankers and yet we have no say in our own country. (Fyi I am now an Aussie citizen) How to ruin north west NSW! SBS Wonder who really benefits from this?

That's lobbying and kickbacks for you. Corruption in plain sight. Not even trying to hide it because our 'democratic' systems have completely failed. We don't have countries for the people, countries are just cash cows for business elites and ministers to line their pockets. Yeh we don’t need food SBS WTF

National and planetary tragedy. 😡 Scoffo loves has farmers. This woman, if we remember rightly, was caught rorting the Australian people. Now she is killing Koalas and contaminating the sub-aqua reservoirs Jobs, cheaper energy, more reliable energy network, regional development,.... Federal government subsidises the rich end of town. Meanwhile, the Victorian government sinks billions into social housing and childcare. Tell me who’s on the side of ordinary Australians?

Out with Morrison and his company of planet destroying crooks. OutWithMorrison 🤬 sussanley Yet another corrupt minister who’s meant to be FOR the environment. And just in case no one knows who ole Sussan is... FFS Arsehole ClimateDenierHeNeedsToGo More proof that politicians only care about their own terms in office.

Putting another water supply. Cop that climate. Scum. Disgraceful! His fellow climate change denier has just been dumped from the White House. Stupid decisions like this will have Scomo out too. Wake up man! 12 months on from those horrific bush fires with NO action taken to prevent a re-occurrence and now this! Diabolical!

That’s the LNP plan folks, approve those very soon to be stranded coal and gas assets. More kickbacks for The Morrison Government? auspol Corporate plundering here we come!!!! Climate criminals. But the locals will still reelect the LNP Very well done to them. Environmental vandals Albo? Oh no!