Newly released plans by Santos for a “Narrabri Lateral Pipeline” which would connect its gasfield to the company's proposed Hunter Gas Pipeline at Baan Baa reveal it would clear a 30km swathe through the Pilliga Forest and impact multiple properties along its 60km route.
Landholders in the impact zone were recently made aware of the pipeline corridor via a letterbox drop.
The move comes as landholder opposition intensifies against Santos’ much larger planned Hunter Gas Pipeline, which would travel from Newcastle to Baan Baa and then connect to the company's Narrabri gasfield.
It also comes soon after flooding caused major erosion to occur around existing high pressure gas pipelines in NSW, increasing farmer concerns that if Santos’ pipeline is built, it will have severe, ongoing impacts on the properties it intersects.
Sally Hunter, who leases a property in the Narrabri Lateral Pipeline’s path, said the timing of the letterbox drop was atrocious.
“Santos has slapped these lines on a map, stressing farmers, some of who are in the middle of trying to harvest, coming out of months of sustained flooding,” she said.
“There’s no consideration for the welfare of the people who this pipeline would impact.
“There is huge opposition to new high pressure gas pipelines among landholders. There is zero benefit for farmers who are forced to host a pipeline and they have to carry the risks.”
Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord spokesperson Margaret Fleck said, “Santos’ Narrabri Lateral Pipeline would cause significant environmental impacts and jeopardise high value farming. It would also likely become a stranded asset as the energy sector transforms away from polluting fossil fuels.
“As in Queensland, NSW farmers who are forced to host coal seam gas pipelines and all the associated above ground infrastructure on their properties would find it impossible to obtain third party insurance.
“For these reasons and more, farmers all along Santos’ planned pipeline routes are locking their gates. They are refusing to engage with Santos or their agents and they are not signing land survey agreements.
“Santos will find that opposition to this pipeline in our region is not going away, and farmers will not back down.”