Santos gasfield public hearing starts today

North West Protection Advocacy

Santos Narrabri Gasfield Public Hearing commences today

Eyes will be on David Kitto, the State’s top mining assessment bureaucrat, as he attempts to overcome trenchant public opposition to the Narrabri Gas Project when he addresses the NSW Independent Planning Commission today.

Mr Kitto, whose Resource Assessments branch has delivered a much criticised Assessment Report and draft conditions for the coal seam gas project, is expected to attempt to respond to a list of 13 key outstanding questions that were sent in writing to the NSW Department of Planning and Industry on 22 June.

Anna Christie, spokesperson for North West Protection says that Santos has failed to answer important questions about the project.

“Despite seven years developing the Narrabri Gas Project and a three year assessment period, Santos has yet to provide some of the most important information needed by the Commission in order to make its decision whether to consent to the 850 plus gas field which will decimate the Pilliga State Forest and encroach on surrounding farmland,” she said.

The IPC has already indicated it is questioning the weak conditions proposed by the Department in relation to groundwater, questioning why Santos only has to be “generally consistent with” annual and total water extraction caps and there are no absolute caps on groundwater extraction.

The IPC has also required Santos to explain any arrangements in place to ensure that all gas from Narrabri would be provided to the Australian market.

Media inspections of the Pilliga Forest 20-24 June

Media are also advised that Pilliga Forest inspections will be scheduled where you will be guided to key locations including Bohena Creek, Santos’ Leewood Water Treatment facility and existing gas infrastructure in the Forest, with vision and interview opportunities.

/Public Release.