Approval for Narrabri coal-seam gas project in NSW
The controversial $3.6 billion Narrabri coal-seam gas project in NSW presents so many risks from a groundwater contamination perspective. I’d rather that the Santos project was not approved on September 30th by the Independent Planning Commission (IPC).
Most communities rely on groundwater during drought. We have alternatives to create energy, but we don’t have alternatives for water.
Although the preference is not to interfere with groundwater at all, I do however take some heart that the IPC has listened to our concerns around groundwater and have introduced additional tests in this respect.
The project does not have a ‘green light’, it’s still a flashing ‘amber’ as it must meet the 134 conditions. I’m hopeful that the Planning Department’s Water Expert Panel (WEP) set up by the IPC finds out that the project cannot go on due to groundwater contamination risks.
The Shooters Fishers and Farmers (SFF) Party has opposed the project. That was the position I took to the 2019 election.
Narrabri was always going to be expensive gas. Compliance with the 134 conditions will likely make it dearer.
We will seek to fully understand the 134 conditions and their implications. If the project proceeds, we will ensure Santos is held fully accountable for compliance.