Uncertain Times for NSW Farmers

western-slopes-pipelineIf the proposed Narrabri Gas Project is to go ahead, it has to connect to existing gas pipelines. APA has entered into an agreement with Santos to work with regulatory authorities and local communities towards the development of a new pipeline from the Project to the Moomba Sydney Pipeline near Condobolin.

The 30 metre easement required for the pipeline will run through three communities which have declared their areas gas field free. To date no farmers have been approached by APA although I believe at least one council has been asked to advise landowners but has refused to cooperate.

These are uncertain times for NSW’s Western Slope farmers. They are concerned about the effects gas wells will have on their groundwater resources, including the Great Artesian Basin; they speculate on where the proposed pipeline will go as no detailed maps of the route are available; they realise that once the big gas infrastructure is built, the gas fields will spread out across their high yield food producing country as it has in Queensland; and already some farmers are busy trying to stop the Inland Rail from dividing their properties in two, making it unmanageable.

The gas from the Narrabri Gas Project ‘has the potential to supply up to 50 per cent of the natural gas needs of more than 1.1 million homes and 30,000 business and industrial customers in NSW’. It is worth noting that the Moomba Sydney Pipeline connects to the APA-owned East Coast Grid which goes to the LNG plants exporting gas from Gladstone.

Reference: APA website

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