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Santos’ Disastrous Pilliga CSG Project Approved but Fight not over Yet

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
30 September 2020

Despite the approval of Santos’ disastrous coal seam gas project in the Pilliga Forest today by the Independent Planning Commission, the public campaign against the project will continue, Greens MP and environment and water spokesperson Cate Faehrmann said.

“This is a disastrous decision that will have irreversible impacts on the Pilliga forest, threatened species, farmland and vital underground water supplies. It is also a devastating blow to the Gomeroi people who have been fighting this proposal for a decade,” said Ms Faehrmann.

“Despite 10,000 submissions to the IPC, with the overwhelming majority being against the project, the power and spin of the fossil fuel lobby has won the day. However with such fierce opposition to this project and so much at stake, the fight to stop this project will continue.

“When I visited the Pilliga earlier this year, I saw just how much damage one coal seam gas spill can make. With 850 gas wells planned, along with more roads and pipelines, the Pilliga forest is going to be absolutely decimated. 

“The Pilliga Forest is the largest intact woodland west of the Great Dividing Range and home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, including many threatened species. This approval will have irreversible impacts on the fragile ecosystems of the forest and sending some species to extinction.

“The impact on groundwater will also be disastrous, which is why there was such huge opposition from the farming community. That’s why it’s disappointing that the IPC refused to consider last-minute evidence submitted by Lock the Gate revealing that the project will have an even greater impact on the region’s groundwater than had been assumed.

“We should be fast tracking renewables, but instead we are pouring billions into an already outdated technology in a dying fossil fuel market. With this approval, we risk becoming a fossil fuel pariah as the world transitions to renewable energies and countries strengthen their commitment to climate action. 

“Just yesterday the NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean was telling the youth wing of the Coalition for Conservation that gas is not the way of the future, which is too little too late,” said Cate Faehrmann.

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
30 September 2020
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