Landholders along the route of the proposed Hunter Gas Pipeline say Morrison Government funding for the project would be a betrayal and are calling on National Party MPs to stop the Prime Minister and Energy Minister from giving the doomed project a taxpayer-funded lifeline.
Media has reported today that Hunter Gas Pipeline Managing Director Garbis Simonian is in talks with Energy Minister Angus Taylor to secure financial support from the Federal Government and that Government policy now “favours” the project, which has been the subject of protests by landholders from the Hunter region to Moree.
It comes amid reports over the weekend that Queensland fracking company Blue Energy also has its hands out for taxpayer funded pipelines to transport its gas from Central Queensland.
Liverpool Plains landholder, Peter Wills said, “A deal favouring the Hunter Gas Pipeline and burning public money on building it would be a betrayal of rural constituents across its 800 kilometre route. There will be an angry backlash if the National Party allows this to happen.
“There are zombie coal seam gas licences hanging over the rich farmland of our district and this pipeline has hung over us for more than a decade. Politicians should not be giving privileged access to companies that want to industrialise farming districts. Likewise they should not be giving a leg-up to an industry that employs very few people and creates pollution and social discord.
“Hundreds of landholders in the path of this pipeline will stand in its way.”
Last week, Carbon Minerals, which co-owns with Santos Petroleum Exploration Licences 1 and 12 on the Liverpool Plains released the company’s half year report which noted its CSG exploration licences remain in force in the area, despite having expired four and five years ago.
Last near, the NSW National Party Conference adopted a motion to lobby for these and nine other expired petroleum licences to be extinguished to give certainty to rural landholders and communities, but no action has so far been taken.
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said, “The coal seam gas industry is not welcome in North West New South Wales. Unresolved conflict has been left to languish by politicians but if the Federal Government intervenes by favouring this pipeline with cash or other benefits, this serious issue will be brought to a head.”