Government should reject Santos’ Narrabri coal seam gas project as EIS released

MEDIA RELEASE – 21 February 2016

NSW Greens energy and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham reacted to the release of Santos’ Environmental Impact Statement for the 850 well coal seam gas (CSG) project near Narrabri, saying the project will reignite the CSG wars.  He also said the project posed a huge risk to land, water and climate and the government should accept that CSG does not have a social licence to operate in NSW and reject this proposal outright.

“Drilling and potentially fracking 850 coal seam gas wells through the Great Artesian Basin is a high risk activity that will bring to the surface huge amounts of salt and chemically laden water and threatens farmland and water resources,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The community has been battling coal seam gas for many years now and attitudes have only hardened against it.  This industry does not have a social licence to operate and the government should reject the application outright.

“We’ve seen spills of toxic water kill large swathes of forest, the pollution of an aquifer with uranium, and leaking infrastructure from only a few gas wells in the exploration phase of this project.  If this project is approved it will multiply this damage and risk with 850 gas wells, associated pipelines, powerlines, compressor stations and water treatment plants.

“This represents the thin edge of the wedge of a heavy industrialisation of the Pilliga Forest and agricultural land around Narrabri – 988.8 hectares of native vegetation will be removed, plus a further 181.11ha indirectly removed, with 1,791.51 ha of native vegetation cumulatively impacted.

“115 tonnes of salt per day or 42,000 tonnes per year will be generated in the initial stages of production to be dumped at an undisclosed land fill.  Another 1,000 tonnes per year will be irrigated onto fields or put into local waterways. The industry always promised to have a plan for their toxic waste, but it is clear they are just going to use the environment as a dump.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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