The Narrabri Gas Project is the largest development ever proposed under the modern planning system in New South Wales. The NSW Government announced in July that it intended to renew gas exploration licences over a million hectares of the North West of NSW, in the Liverpool Plains and Namoi area.
The NSW Government is pushing ahead with the approval process for Narrabri during the Covid-19 crisis. This project threatens our farmland, cultural heritage, water, forests and wildlife.
Santos wants to drill hundreds of coal seam gas wells through the most productive recharge zone of the Great Artesian Basin - risking contamination and reducing the amount of water going back into the GAB.
The GAB supports at least $12.8 billion in economic activity including agriculture, towns, cultural sites and groundwater dependent ecosystems.
Salts and Metals
Coal seam waste water is laden with toxic salts and metals. Santos has no clear plan for how to dispose of the >430,000 tonnes of waste they will bring to the surface.
At peak production the Narrabri Gas Project will pull up 80kg of salt per minute!
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
The Pilliga is home to the living cultural heritage of Gomeroi/Gamilaraay people and is a hugely significant place.
There have already been more than 20 spills and leaks of coal seam water in Santos’ exploration area. They have been fined for contaminating aquifers with a suite of heavy metals.
Up to 130 spills of wastewater are predicted in the Pilliga if the 850 wells are drilled through the above aquifers.
Flora and Fauna
The Pilliga forest is a refuge for threatened plants and animals and supports a diverse and rich ecosystem of more than 900 species.
The Pilliga is the largest continuous temperate woodland in New South Wales and an important “dark sky” region for the nearby space observatory.
Coal seam gas production releases significant quantities of gas into the atmosphere via leaks, venting and flaring.
Coal seam gas is mostly made up of methane, a potent global warming gas.