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Allianz Insurance’s refusal to cover coal seam gas damage puts farmers on collision course with Madeleine King’s support for Narrabri Gas Project

The world’s largest insurance company, Allianz, has ruled out covering Australian property owners for any damage caused by coal seam gas infrastructure, activities, or transport.

The condition, included in a March 2024 home insurance policy update (See page 54), comes as Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King used her Future Gas Strategy to voice her support for Santos’ proposed Narrabri Gas Project, in the Pilliga Forest and surrounding farmland.

Santos is also exploring for coal seam gas on the world-renowned Liverpool Plains farming district and wants to build a pipeline from the coast near Newcastle to transport gas from the Narrabri Project. Last year, the NSW Resources Regulator gave Santos permission to “re-activate” four coal seam gas wells near Gunnedah.

The move by Allianz follows a similar decision by Australia's biggest insurer IAG, owner of major rural insurer WFI in 2020, which impacted Queensland farmers with coal seam gas infrastructure on their property.

The development also comes after Gomeroi Traditional Owners successfully argued in the Federal Court that the Native Title Tribunal had failed to consider the Narrabri Project’s impact on the climate when it ruled in favour of Santos in 2022.

Liverpool Plains farmer John Hamparsum, whose property would be dissected by Santos’ planned Hunter Gas Pipeline, said he was shocked when he came across the Allianz clause while looking into insurance options.

“Santos wants to build its Hunter Gas Pipeline right through our farm, so this naturally concerned me about what it would mean for our property and future insurance,” he said.

“This pipeline would effectively be there forever, so there would be an ongoing impact on me and future generations.”

“I will be doing all I possibly can to stop Santos building its Hunter Gas Pipeline. It would become an open artery that drains the Liverpool Plains of its food and fibre producing ability.

“If this pipeline goes in, it would open up all those tenements that Santos has been working on. 

“Our community just spent 16 years preventing the BHP and Shenhua-owned coal project from being built in the middle of the Liverpool Plains and now we are forced to fight this next ludicrous challenge. Give us a break.”

Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord spokesperson and cattle farmer Margaret Fleck said “Farmers were already steadfast in their opposition to Santos and this decision by Allianz will only strengthen our resolve to prevent polluting gasfields in our region.

“Landholders oppose Santos’ plans because CSG threatens the underground water that sustains farming operations, and we won’t accept Madeleine King attempting to sacrifice that in a push for more gas drilling that we don’t need and can’t afford.”


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