Making it clear that there is no support for the Narrabri Gas Project, NSW Farmers has told the NSW Independent Planning Commission the only way to safeguard the quality of precious water, soil and air resources in the NSW Pilliga region is to totally block the proposed $3.6 billion project.
Mining giant Santos is seeking NSW Government approval to drill 850 coal seam gas wells across 95,000 hectares in and around the Pilliga in NSW’s north west.
The company says the massive project will create huge economic windfalls for the Narrabri area, while also bringing down the cost of gas for the consumer.
It has lodged a State Significant Development Application and as part of the NSW Government’s decision-making process, the NSW Independent Planning Commission recently conducted seven days worth of public hearings on the issue.
Over 400 parties voiced their opinion on the controversial project with NSW Farmers also putting forward it position.
NSW Farmers’ President James Jackson did not mince words in making the farming association’s position known.
“NSW Farmers does not support the Narrabri Gas Project. Our members have considered this project carefully and believe it poses an unacceptable risk to the water resources, soil and air quality, local food and fibre production and rural communities in western New South Wales.”NSW Farmers’ President James Jackson
Mr Jackson says the NSW Farmer membership also wants to know why recommendations made by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane, back in 2014 have not been enacted.
“Our members are also concerned about the 2019 finding by the NSW Legislative Council Committee that the government has not yet fully implemented many of the recommendations of the NSW Chief Scientist’s Independent Review of CSG Activities in New South Wales.”
Mr Jackson said the protection of water must be the absolute priority.
“Farmers can produce local food and fibre without gas, but it cannot be done without water,” he said.
“The Government’s own Independent Water Expert Panel identified that the Narrabri Gas Project may result in groundwater depressurisation and drawdown of aquifers and changes to surface water flow and quality.”
The Water Expert Panel also identified that “small impacts from connected water sources can potentially have cumulatively significant local impacts.”