Santos’ Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Narrabri Gas Project received 22,700 submissions against it, well over the previous record of under 10,000 received by the NSW Government Planning & Environment Department. Submissions closed on May 22. I assumed the government would be assessing the submissions before allowing further developments but no, on July 3 they they granted APA the right to survey for a pipeline for the unapproved project.
In June a helicopter flew low along what farmers believed to be the proposed gas pipeline route from Narrabri to Condobolin. Farmers became angry when their livestock, in poor condition from drought, scattered, frightened by the unfamiliar low flying chopper.
The authority to survey requires APA to give farmers around Narrabri, Walgett, Coonamble, Warren, Bogan, Lachlan and Cobar five days notice before going onto their properties to conduct land surveys.
Most farmers oppose pipelines going through their properties, disrupting the way they work, disturbing their stock, increasing weed infestation and making it impossible to move heavy machinery around their properties after rain.
Is the battle for the bush about to begin?