The release today of submissions to the Narrabri coal seam gasfield in North West NSW reveals overwhelming numbers of people opposed to it, prompting calls for the NSW Government to reject the project.
The Department of Planning has revealed that it received 23,000 submissions on the project, the most ever received on a major resource project, with only 300 in support. The vast majority of the submissions are opposed to the project, which is also opposed by the NSW State Opposition.
Sarah Ciesiolka, whose farm is near the proposed gasfield said, “We are overwhelmed by how many people from around the state and far afield have supported our efforts to prevent the Pilliga forest being turned over to an industrial gasfield. This is a mandate that the NSW Government cannot ignore: they must reject this unacceptable gasfield.”
Anne Kennedy, a farmer from Coonamble said, “We are not surprised that so many people have made their objection to this project clear. Experts have reviewed Santos’ Environmental Impact Statement and found that this project presents profound risk to the recharge of the Great Artesian Basin.
“The Pilliga Sandstone is effectively the headwater of the aquifer we rely on for our existence and Santos want to drill straight through it and depressure the aquifers below it. It’s not on.”
Megan Kuhn from Lock the Gate Alliance said, “This unprecedented response must surely be ringing the Government’s alarm bells. Over 100 communities in the area and around the region have declared themselves gasfield free and people far and wide have now also swarmed to support us and what’s at stake by this proposal.The NSW Government will ignore this movement at its peril.”
The Department of Planning media release outlining the scale of opposition to the Narrabri gasfield is available online here.
The North West Alliance submission and some expert reviews is available here.