An Open Letter to the Editor,  The Australian Financial Review

North West Protection Advocacy
PO Box 197 Coonabarabran NSW 2357

25 June 2019

The Editor
The Australian Financial Review

Dear Mr Stutchbury,

The editorial and story “Controversial CSG project set to get green light” (AFR Friday 21st June 2019 – reprinted below) contain many errors, starting with the claim that the Santos project would result in lowering of gas prices. Only a gas reservation policy to ensure gas stays in Australia at cheaper prices would achieve that aim. You state that “gas is expensive because there is plentiful domestic gas available in NSW and Victoria, but which State Governments have chosen not to develop out of cowardice in the face of unscientific green lobbies”. The real reason gas is expensive is because everyone on the east coast now has to pay the export price.

Your Editorial refers to Santos using “existing pipelines to send it into the State’s energy markets”. This is plainly incorrect. There is no such existing pipeline. The APA pipeline group has been trying desperately to build a new gas pipeline from Narrabri to the Moomba-Sydney pipeline, and has been blocked by communities from Coonamble all the way through.

As to the science, Santos has only provided a limited environmental impact assessment and has not satisfied the requirements of the Chief Scientist of NSW. To claim that local farmers ignore the science is ill-informed. Communities, including farmers, are the very people demanding science, transparent, unbiased science that considers the cumulative impacts of unconventional gas on groundwater and public health.

The cumulative impacts of unconventional gas on 12% of NSW are unknown because Santos is only required to do an EIS for the first stage – the Narrabri Gas Project for a Pilliga coal seam gas field of 850 plus gas wells in the Pilliga State Forest, and the launching pad for gas expansion in NSW that could cover 12% of the land mass of NSW.

The full extent of the proposed gas fields could result in over 20,000 wells reaching to the Queensland border, almost to Dubbo in the west, and south as far as the Upper Hunter Valley. That’s the real story.

Maria Rickert

Patron, North West Protection Advocacy
and Proprietor, The Pilliga Pottery
Tel: 02 6842 2239

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Sharon Reply

    We have to wake up! We cannot keep destroying our environment. Stop, NOW!

  2. Fiona Baker Reply

    Dear Prime Minister, Energy Minister, Minerals and Energy Council,

    I wish to comment for the thousands upon thousands of native birds and animals that will be adversely affected by the Pilliga Santos CSG project as they suffer horrendously through loss of water and habitat, yet are unable to speak for themselves. Many species such as the Pilliga mouse and the Superb Parrot will soon become extinct through CSG impacts on their homeland.

    I also wish to speak for the people of the future who will struggle to buy Australian food as we will no longer have farmers, just as we no longer have a manufacturing industry. I write for those generations of farmers whose hard work and dogged determination have built a legacy for their children. Think how people reacted to a proposed fake news “death tax” at the last election. This strikes at the efforts of parents to provide for and leave a legacy for their children – this is what you are doing by destroying the family farms of inland Australia. Destroying not only an income, a way of life, a home, but also the superannuation and the assets created by multiple generations for those in the future.

    CSG is a short term money making business, that destroys other businesses around it – not by fairly doing a better job, but by literally destroying their ability to function. It will also destroy this nation and our planet forever.

    It may be hard to stand up and tell companies they are no longer able to make easy money from drilling – think how much more difficult to stand up and say “I sold out on your future – destroyed it all for temporary gain, when better investments were available in renewables”. Stand up and say “NO!” to fossil fuels – you want a future that is worth living. Stand up and say “NO!” to the media spin full of lies, half-truths and distractions, stand up and say “NO!” to Australia taking the wrong path into the future. Be proud that you may be able to prevent the unthinkable from occurring.

    We know you are betraying us when there is clear evidence in front of us.

    Please stop Santos CSG in The Pilliga and Adani

    There are so many better alternatives to invest in and we are depending on you to protect us!


  3. Allan Seymour Reply

    AFR misinformation concerning NSW coal seam gas projected corrected.
    The full extent of the proposed gas fields could result in over 20,000 wells.

  4. Mora Main Reply

    Gas is a fossil fuel. Burning it will add to CO2 emissions. This is exactly the wrong way to tackle the climate crisis. Extracting coal seam gas also causes significant damage to the above and below ground environment. The problems are well known and understood by the industry. It is irresponsible to continue to force through the false economic arguments of gas production and sale, which do not account for the wider environmental damage. We expect better of our political and industrial captains.

    The energy future is in renewables where there is plenty of profit to be made.

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