Letter to the editor, Narrabri Courier: Live free or die, Narrabri. Stark choice; it’s black or white. December 2019

Live free of the delusion that the Narrabri Gas Project will create jobs and prosperity. Live free of Santos’ propaganda that CSG can be mined without permanent damage to artesian water and air quality.

Live free to compare Narrabri now (population about 6000) with similar towns such as Roma and Chinchilla already under gas; look at the tiny spike in 2011 and the decline since. Look at the number of irrigation bores lost to drawdown.

Over 5,000 wells have been drilled in SE Queensland in 14 years with thousands more to come. The life of a CSG well is 10 to 20 years. The CSG industry abandons depleted wells and simply drills on.

The damage already done in Queensland is real and visible. The gasfield is in its infancy. Pollution will continue to grow.

Unconventional gas mining for shale gas and CSG was invented in the US by a nation so desperate to become energy independent that authorities ignored the environmental devastation that followed. After thirty years of drilling through aquifers, large river systems have been irreparably compromised and poor air quality is causing major health problems. Same has occurred in China, Canada and Argentina. Fifty three countries have banned gas mining. Only five permit it.

Unconventional gas mining and environmental catastrophe go hand in hand. The extraction process is fundamentally flawed. What has started to happen in Queensland and has already happened in America will definitely occur in Narrabri if the NGP is allowed to proceed. Towns from the Queensland border to the Liverpool Ranges and west to Coonamble will be affected as 850 wells grow into a gasfield of around 20,000 plus wells.

Taxpayers will subsidise the exploration phase of the NGP for millions of dollars. The gas will be exported to China at premium prices, too expensive for the Australian market. Santos will pay no royalties and no tax. This is not supposition; it’s happening now.

I have had sports and education contacts with many young people in the Narrabri district. This letter is for them, their parents and their mates. Love and respect to you all.

Live free of a Council that ignores its own extractive industry policy and code of conduct to support a process that is rotten at the core and will reduce Narrabri and other centres to ghost towns.

Bill Newell – Narrabri resident
BSc (Hons, Pure Mathematics, Statistics) Dip Ed

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Kennedy Reply

    Unfortunately our politicians of all parties only look to the NOW and what they can personally benefit in monetary terms.

    No thought of the future or what Australia offers to the whole world as a food and fiber supplier and the billions that agriculture can and will bring to our nation.

    Coal Seam Gas MUST be stopped before it contaminates Australia and compromises our precious water supplies including rivers and especially The Great Artesian Basin which once that unique supply of thousands of year old water is compromised there is NO way to undo the damage that has been done.

  2. David Quince Reply

    Nails It !!! Wonderfully truthful & accurate letter that articulated the unconventional gas industry and it’s consequences

  3. Kerry Reply

    You are correct. Narrabri was a special place. Pilliga Rising shows some of the beauty of the region. Kaputar is a special place. Why poison it all ~ and watch it all sold off to the least deserving ~ when you know how fast a corporate destroys a beautiful town leaving it looking like a worthless gulag. Ice, suicide… were crop spray early deaths and tumors not enough? CSG is part of the madness destroying a nation with too much sun. We just have to change the mindset and the government, so rural lives and jobs are thriving. It can be done..$250 million to refurbish the PMs private plane. $500 million for yet another war memorial. $150 million.to NASA. Another bloody stadium replacing one just 20 years old! Military guns to police to ‘quell citizen unrest’. Water sold off and rebought, we pay twice to the ‘mates’. The honourable men in those wars would be horrified by all the destruction and waste.

  4. Richard savage Reply

    Any industry that will damage the GAB and the water therein should be banned ,the number of short term jobs not even a considerable.
    The Pilliga Forest and the town are too valuable.

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