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No need for Narrabri gas: New report’s roadmap a relief for rural communities

Politicians who have long pushed the polluting Santos Narrabri gasfield while claiming it would fill existing demand are being invited to eat their words, after a new report revealed there was no need for the project.

Lock the Gate Alliance welcomes the Northmore Gordon report, published this morning by the Climate Council, which provides a decarbonisation roadmap for New South Wales which, if adopted, would mean there would be no need for gas from Santos’ Narrabri project.

Gomeroi Traditional owner Karra Kinchela said she hoped the details of the report would create optimism in her community.

“We already thought a gasfield in the Pilliga was not worth the damage it would cause and now we know it is totally unnecessary,” she said.

“It’s clearer now than ever that this polluting gasfield isn’t wanted or needed. 

“The government is allowing Santos to threaten the Pilliga and the Great Artesian Basin but what they should be doing is getting rid of the demand for gas and stopping the pollution. 

“This new report shows politicians the way, all they need to do is listen.”

The report shows technological developments mean New South Wales can eliminate gas demand and the greenhouse emissions from burning gas by 2050, with a 70% reduction possible just in the next 15 years - removing any possible need for the Narrabri gas project. 

Lock the Gate Alliance NSW spokesperson Georgina Woods said, “We strongly urge the NSW Berejiklian Government to adopt this roadmap and get off gas.

“Our state can be an Australian leader by setting business and industry up to be resilient and sustainable in a decarbonising world and eliminate the justification for drilling coal seam gas wells in the beautiful Pilliga forest and surrounding farmland. 

“This is a huge relief to rural communities: with foresight, planning and investment, New South Wales can electrify and decarbonise, while safeguarding jobs in important manufacturing industries. 

“NSW already has a Net Zero Industry program - with more ambition and funding they can accelerate that to deliver on this roadmap.  

“What is very clear is that we don’t need coal seam gas putting the economic future of communities in jeopardy - instead, clean heat manufacturing can lead us towards zero emissions and a sustainable future."

Quick facts:

  • Current gas demand in NSW is around 113PJ (petajoules) per annum, just under half of which (~55PJ) is large and small industrial facilities.

  • The Northmore Gordon roadmap illustrates a potential pathway for NSW to reduce its gas consumption by 25% within 5 years, 70% in 10-15 years, and entirely eliminate gas use by mid-century

  • This includes reducing or eliminating gas use in the manufacture of timber and pulp, brick works, food and beverages, and in the heating of homes and suburban pools.

  • This means eliminating in the order of 30PJ of gas demand before the Narrabri gas project even begins production, and 80PJ by 2035, which is more than the gasfield is expected to produce annually.

  • The Narrabri gasfield would add about 5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually to Australia and New South Wales’ direct emissions at a time when Australia needs to achieve about 7.5 million tonnes emissions reduction every year to meet its 2030 goal, as well as maintaining the reductions found in previous years. 


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