Gabriela Mueller, Cumbalum
The Pilliga State Forest is the largest temperate woodland west of the Great Dividing Range, covering more than 500,000ha. It is one of the most bio-diverse areas of Australia, and home to many vulnerable species of fauna and flora. It was recognised as one of Australia’s biodiversity hotspots in the early 2000’s owing to its mixture of coastal and inland species.
Very importantly, the Pilliga Forest also lies in the southern recharge zone of the Great Artesian Basin.
Gas company Santos has plans to sink up to 850 unconventional gas wells in the forest. The very real concern is that this is only the beginning, and that surrounding farmland will also be turned into gasfields. 97 per cent of the local community said ‘No’ to this project and they need our help to prevent this from going ahead.
The decision on this proposal has been referred to the state’s Independent Planning Commission (IPC), which is holding a public hearing into the project on 20–24 July and is accepting submissions until 31 July.
Back in 2014 we fought hard to keep Metgasco out of the Northern Rivers. Let’s support the people of northwestern NSW to keep their area gasfield free.