Knitting Nannas are committed to stopping Santos drilling 850 coal seam gas wells around Narrabri in northwest NSW. The project and its infrastructure threatens the Pilliga Forest and other sites of cultural significance to the Gomeroi people. Prime agricultural land around Narrabri and on the Liverpool Plains will be impacted as will many people’s homes in the Hunter.
The Gomeroi have appealed a decision by the National Native Title Tribunal to allow Santos to go ahead with the project without the consent of the Gomeroi people. A hearing date has not been set.
A group of NSW Unions have backed the Gomeroi resisting the Narrabri Gas Project on Gomeroi country and they plan to hold an event in Coonabarabran at an appropriate time. A coalition of groups, including the CWA, Unions, NSW Farmers, Lock the Gate and Knitting Nannas are planning a day of action in September.
The following information provides questions Nannas can ask both state and federal governments about this very controversial project. See contact forms for politicians below.
Narrabri Gas Project Update
The NSW Labor Government cannot rescind the approval for the Narrabri Gas Project unless they pay Santos out and the gas giant would demand a lot. However, future actions of the Federal and NSW Government can influence Santos’ final investment decision on the project, which is to be made later this year.
- The NSW Independent Planning Commission approved the Narrabri Gas Project subject to 134 conditions – for example:
- Condition A9 – “The applicant shall not commence Phase 2 until approval is granted for a transmission pipeline to deliver gas from the development to the domestic gas network.”
- Condition A17 – “The applicant must not undertake any hydraulic fracturing [fracking] at any time.”
Question: Will the NSW government ensure that Santos adheres strictly to the 134 Conditions of Approval for the Narrabri Gas Project? Yes/No
Write to: Paul Scully, copy to Penny Sharpe
- Condition B39e – The groundwater model update “prior to the commencement of Phase 2 to be generally in accordance with a Class 3 confidence level model.”
Request: The Federal Independent Expert Scientific Committee (the body that wrote the groundwater model guidelines) review the Class 3 groundwater model.
Write to: Paul Scully and Tanya Plibersek, copy to Penny Sharpe
Narrabri Gas Lateral Pipeline
The Narrabri gas lateral pipeline links the Narrabri Gas Project and the Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline. Over 90 hectares of the Pilliga Forest will be cleared for a 30 metre x 30 kilometre easement with turnaround points and hardstands for materials.
Santos is currently preparing an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the pipeline. Nannas will be notified when this is on public display and a submission guide will be available.
Request: The Narrabri Gas Lateral Pipeline be referred to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act before a pipeline licence is issued.
Write to Tanya Plibersek, copy to Penny Sharpe and any cross benchers federal and state that you have a connection with.
Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline
Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline was approved in February 2009 using data, which even then was 10 years out of date. Consequently desktop studies supporting the project were inaccurate, downplaying the risks and the numbers of people who would be impacted.
Santos acquired the project in August 2022 to construct a 413km a pipeline from Narrabri, through the Hunter, to the domestic gas network in Hexham, near Newcastle.
Question: Due to the time lapse between approval and now, will the Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline be referred to the EPBC Act before a pipeline licence is issued?
Write to Tanya Plibersek and Penny Sharpe – mention you support Lock the Gate’s request that it be referred again
The pipeline has been granted one extension which is current to 15 October 2024. The project must commence physical construction before that date for the project approval to remain valid.
Request: The NSW government does not grant another extension to the project approval if construction has not commenced by that date.
Write to Paul Scully, copy to Penny Sharpe
Santos needs to expand gas production into areas along the pipeline route to make the project viable. Exploration for coal seam gas is currently underway on the prime agricultural land of the Liverpool Plains. Gas extraction cannot co-exist with the area’s efficient, highly productive large-scale farming practises utilising satellite technology.
Coal seam gas exclusion zones already include residential areas, national parks, critical industry clusters and Sydney water catchments. The Liverpool Plains should be designated an exclusion zone under Environmental Planning Policy (Resources and Energy) 2021, Section 2.12 ‘Coal seam gas development prohibited in certain exclusion zones’.
Question: Will the State Environmental Planning Policy for Mining and Resources be amended to include the Liverpool Plains as an exclusion zone?
Write to Courtney Houssos, copy to Tara Moriarty
Beetaloo Gas NT
Manly Nannas are planning to organise monthly actions with Pittwater and Sydney Nannas outside the office of Tamboran Resources in Manly. See ABC 7.30 Report video
Leanne Brummel from the Queensland gasfields is campaigning for a fossil fuel non proliferation treaty. This is something Nanna Loops should consider joining.
NSW Gas Pipeline Regulators
Department of Planning and Environment – Paul Scully
Office of Energy and Climate Change – Penny Sharpe
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act is reviewed every 10 years. The most recent 2020 review, led by Professor Graeme Samuel AC, recommended major changes to the Act. Tanya Plibersek is overhauling the Act but it may not be ready until the end of this year.
Paul Scully, NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces: Contact form
Hon Tanya Plibersek, Federal Minister for the environment and Water: Contact form:
Penny Sharpe, Minister for Climate Change, Minister for Energy, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Heritage: Contact form
Courtney Houssos, Minister for Finance and Minister for Natural Resources: Contact form
Tara Moriarty, Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Regional New South Wales, and Minister for Western New South Wales: Contact form