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Landholders say Bauhinia Downs gas pipeline explosion shows CSG not worth the risk

Landholders fighting new gas projects in NSW and QLD say a high pressure gas pipeline inferno that has erupted in Central Queensland demonstrates why new projects are too risky and should not be built.

Video emerged today (March 5) of a massive fire on the Queensland Gas Pipeline near Bauhinia Downs, south west of Gladstone and north east of Carnarvon Gorge National Park. 

It’s the latest in a series of gas pipeline explosions in recent times, with an Arrow Energy owned pipeline exploding near Lake Broadwater Conservation Park near Dalby in 2022, and a Santos owned pipeline exploding at its Cooper Basin project in South Australia early last year.

Those incidents followed a major explosion at Santos’ Toolachee pipeline, near Innamincka in South Australia, in 2019.

Mullaley Gas and pipeline Accord spokesperson Margaret Fleck, who is fighting Santos’ Hunter Gas Pipeline said, “This extremely dangerous gas pipeline fire is exactly why landholders are fiercely determined to stop Santos constructing its Hunter Gas Pipeline.

“Gas companies must not be allowed to foist these dangerous projects onto communities.

“Today, we have seen what can go wrong. No landholder should be forced to risk their safety, the safety of their families, and their farms just because a gas company wants to build a high pressure pipeline through their property.

“Santos’ Hunter Gas Pipeline would be built within tens of metres of people’s homes.

“Gasfields do enough damage to farmland when they’re not on fire, but what we’ve seen today should put paid to any suggestion by Santos that its gas pipeline is anything but a toxic, dangerous menace.” 

Cecil Plains landholder Liza Balmain, who is fighting the expansion of Arrow’s Surat Gas Project on QLD’s Darling Downs said, “This fire exposes the dangers inherent in high pressure gas pipelines, and offers a firm argument as to why they should not be constructed on densely settled farmland. 

“With the current legislation as it stands in Queensland, farmers on the Darling Downs have no right to veto gas projects occurring on their land. They have no ability to assess the risk for themselves, their families, and their communities, and say no to the risk of such potential disasters. This is an appalling situation.

“It is no wonder that a major rural insurance company pulled out of providing third party liability cover for farms hosting gas infrastructure. This incident at Bauhinia Downs demonstrates the inherent risks unjustly being forced upon QLD farmers and their communities.”


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