22.7 C
Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Are the NSW Planning Department doing their job over CSG?

Latest News

The Rebels and the Wraiths visit Nationals: ‘We are facing a planetary crisis’

As part of a fortnight of climate actions and protests with the Extinction Rebellion, over 30 activists visited MP Kevin Hogan’s office in Lismore yesterday pushing ghostly empty white prams.

Other News

No means no, say traditional owners

As Water Week draws to a close, with a theme of 'Caring for Water and Country', a group of Widjabul Wia-bal elders have emphatically said they do not want the Dunoon Dam proposal to be put back on the table by pro-dam councillors.

Northern NSW urged to stay vigilant ahead of severe weather

With the prediction for off-shore winds and an off-shore low in the north of the State this week, the Bureau of Meteorology has advised that storms may be on the way over the next few days.

End the cult

A military conflict between China and the USA would very likely result in global nuclear war, a major setback...

Immunity

I know I’m not the only one who has joined the dots between Byron Shire having the lowest vaccination...

Poison killing wildlife

Take bird-killing poisons off our supermarket and hardware shelves. Rodent poison containing SGAR is having a devastating effect on...

Lake Ainsworth Cyanobacteria Update – RED ALERT

Ballina Shire Council has just issued a Red Alert for Lake Ainsworth. Water should NOT be used for primary recreation. Users should obey all signage erected by Council.

Local farmers at anti-Santos demonstration, Pilliga Forest.

A possible connection between the water used by farmers east of the Pilliga State Forest and the proposed Santos Narrabri gas field is being ignored by the NSW Planning Department.

These farmers feel that they have been ‘erased’ from the NSW Planning Department’s assessment of the Santos Narrabri gas field Lock the Gate Alliance said in a press release today.

‘The 15 bores, which connect to the deep water of the Gunnedah Oxley Basin, were referenced in Santos’ original Groundwater Impact Assessment (on page 4-39 and 4-40. Map on page 4/43),’ says the PR.

‘But there is no mention of them in the Planning Department’s assessment of the project.

An area of the Pilliga Forest where a CSG wastewater spill occurred in 2011. Nothing has grown back. Photo David Saunders.

‘What’s more, warnings (P 315) from the Water Expert Panel convened to advise on the project say the crude model used by Santos has “poor predictive capacity in relation to the impact of production of the surrounding impacted water sources,’ meaning these water users may be left high and dry.

‘The Department of Planning’s Water Division has made clear that the model being used by Santos cannot predict impacts on landholder’s bores and has said “limited information about water supply works is available for the Gunnedah-Oxley Basin.

‘Much of the attention of the assessment has so far focused on the productive shallow aquifers of the region which most farmers use – the Namoi Alluvium and the Pilliga Sandstone and the degree to which these will be affected by depressurisation and dewatering deep below.’

Farmers protest against plans for fracking in the Pilliga Forest, NSW. Photo David Lowe

Farmers water supplies at risk

Gunnedah Oxley Basin water user Mal Donaldson has said that the Planning Department has totally overlooked the threat the gasfield posed to his and other nearby farmers’ water supplies.

According to Mr Donaldson there are naturally occurring high levels of methane in one of his bores. He says this indicates a likely connection between the coal seams Santos was targeting, and the basin.

‘I am seriously concerned that should Santos’ destructive gas field go ahead, my water bore will become a gas bore,’ Mr Donaldson said.

‘My father had this bore drilled over nine months in 1953–54, yet the Planning Department behaves like it doesn’t exist.

‘This is an insult to farmers in this region. We exist. Our farms exist and they rely on this water. If the Planning Commission ignores us too, it could have far reaching, negative implications for us.’

Lock the Gate NSW coordinator Georgina Woods urged the Independent Planning Commission to pay particular attention to the plight of the farmers to the east of the Pilliga when it considers Santos’ proposal at the end of the month.

‘After battling an unprecedented drought for years, the Planning Department’s omission is yet another blow for farmers in this district. It is not good enough to let Santos proceed with this gasfield on the basis of closing your eyes and hoping she’ll be right,’ she said.

‘These farmers could lose their water if this gasfield is allowed to go ahead. No one in government so far has stood up for them and made Santos find out what the impact on them will be.

‘The Independent Planning Commission needs to hear what they have to say.’

Get your voice heard

IPC hearings are all going to be virtual for Narrabri, and speaker registrations are now closed, but proceedings will be broadcast on the IPC website, from Monday 20 July to Friday 24 July.

Concerned citizens can still make a written submission until 31 July via: IPCN have your say.

The IPC has said that written comments will carry the same weight as spoken presentations.

Further reading

For more information on the impact of CSG mining in the Pilliga State Forest and surrounding areas see:

Planet Watch: The madness and corruption of unconventional gas

Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project seeks approval for 850 CSG wells in northwest NSW

Documentary

If you would like to know more about the Narrabri Gas Project, Cloudcatcher Media’s feature documentary Sacrifice Zone is free to view below. The film contains interviews with a large number of experts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. We are seeing repeated examples on all levels of Government of ignoring scientific reports,(even here in Byron with our shameful Greens-dominated Council.
    What’s scary these days is that they just don’t care anymore or even pretend to.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s part of a larger plan to get rid of the farmers, thereby possibly extending the gas fields in the future… Time for the govt to act & protect the farmers & all food growing areas as well as our forests… Time to get real …

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NSW Legislative Council expresses concerns over push to burn native forests for power

The NSW Legislative Council unanimously passed a motion expressing its concerns over the growing push by industry to burn NSW native forests for electricity and hydrogen production.

Diadem Street, Lismore

Around 2,000 residents in Lismore lost their electricity connection on Wednesday night after a large gum tree took out power lines.

Black bellied whale sighted at Ballina dubbed ‘Liquorice’

For years southern waters whale watchers have been keeping their eyes keen for Migaloo and his offspring, but just how many local cetacean enthusiasts...

A history of ‘freedom’ and the Northern Rivers vaccine divide

Among the many myths about the COVID-19 vaccines is a belief they contain live virus that a vaccinated person will shed in social and intimate circumstances. Along with many other vaccine myths, this belief is contributing to a significant divide in the Northern Rivers community.