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Plibersek’s approval of Santos’ Arcadia Valley gasfield doesn’t pass the climate sniff test

Lock the Gate Alliance has accused Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek of failing to walk the talk on climate action after her department approved a Santos-owned project that will lead to the drilling of 116 gaswells in the beautiful Arcadia Valley in Central QLD late last week.

Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Ellen Roberts said,

"The Arcadia Valley is a truly beautiful agricultural district, which attracts thousands of tourists each year as they make their way to nearby national parks. But Santos' gas project will industrialise this valley, and drain the water that sustains farms throughout the district.

"This is the reality of coal seam gas expansion - once beautiful farming districts are irreparably degraded and industrialised due to the drilling of many hundreds of gas wells, access roads, and wastewater treatment plants. Groundwater beneath the land is drained and placed at risk of contamination.

"These should have been reason enough for Tanya Plibersek to reject this project. But gas is also a fossil fuel that is driving the climate crisis. To think the world will still be burning fossil gas by 2077 - the approval end date for this project - is totally inconsistent with the International Energy Agency's 2021 recommendation that there must be no new fossil fuel projects if the world is to keep global warming to as far below two degrees as possible.

"It’s also particularly galling that Minister Plibersek’s department appears to have made this approval late on a Friday afternoon, and suggests the government was attempting to avoid public scrutiny over a very poor decision.”


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