Narrabri Gas Project Update

Here’s an update on government plans, court cases and other gas developments that will impact on the Narrabri Gas Project. Also there are links to more information and actions you can take against this project.

In mid-July the NSW government released the NSW Gas Plan (Future of Gas Statement). This included their intention to extinguish some of the coal seam gas licences known as Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELS) in the North West and to not proceed with expanding gas exploration in the Far West. See Map

However, the Berejiklian/Barilaro government, in line with the Morrison government’s “gas-led recovery”, has confirmed its commitment to gas developments in NSW.

The government argues the expansion of gas is needed because of looming gas shortages as soon as next year. But Australia is the biggest or second biggest gas exporter on the planet. It is possible for gas to be reserved for domestic use but the federal government has refused to do it.

The gas developments the NSW government supports include:

  • Narrabri Gas Project – More exploration for coal seam gas in proximity to this project, to support its economic viability and to encourage Santos to make their final investment decision to proceed. The new areas include the best farming soils in the state in the Upper Hunter, Liverpool Plains and Namoi Valley. Lock the Gates’ analysis of the development of these licences

    Santos has told media “it has no interest in expanding to such an extent”. Lock the Gate has responded saying that if that is the case, the company should sell its interests in all the remaining exploration licences.
  • Gas Pipelines across thousands of kilometres of prime agricultural land to get the gas from Narrabri to either Newcastle and/or to the Moomba-Sydney pipeline.
  • Port Kembla and Newcastle gas import terminals
  • Hunter Power Project – the $600m federally funded construction of a 750 megawatt (MW) gas fired power station, electrical switchyard and ancillary infrastructure at Kurri Kurri, providing 10 full time jobs. Submissions have closed and a response to submissions is now available. Please sign the Gas Free Hunter Alliance petition
  • Kurri Kurri Lateral Pipeline Project – plan to develop a 17-21 km underground pipeline from the existing Sydney to Newcastle gas pipeline to the proposed Kurri Kurri Gas Plant, a compressor station, and 14 km underground storage pipeline. Until this pipeline is built the Kurri Kurri Gas Plant will run on diesel. Watch out for submissions being called for.

Court Cases

The Environmental Defenders Office is representing a community group the Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord in the Land and Environment Court in their appeal against the Independent Planning Commission’s approval of the Narrabri Gas Project. The appeal commenced on 30 August. Until a decision is made, Santos is unlikely to do any major works at Narrabri. The wrap up sessions by Lock the Gate are on Facebook:
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

A shareholder activist group is taking Santos to court over its claims it produces “clean fuel” and plans to reach net zero emissions by 2040. The Guardian

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is the regulator for the coal seam gas industry in NSW. In August, in a landmark ruling and a win for a bushfire survivors group, the Land and Environment Court ordered the EPA to take steps to safeguard against climate change. ABC News

Tour the North West

In May this year Sydney Knitting Nannas and Friends went on a listening tour of north west NSW. See Nanna’s blog and Gas GAB Tours. Plan your visit to the area once Covid lockdowns end. See for yourself the impacts of coal seam gas as well as the many tourist attractions in this region.

More links and actions

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in early August warns that we must act quickly and make big reductions in greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid global climate disaster. That includes stopping all new fossil fuel developments, including gas. Climate Council explainer

Climate Council’s Australian gas exploration map – sign the petition: leave gas in the ground.

The UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, will be held in Glasgow in November. The Climate Council along with 55 organisations across the Australian climate movement call on the Federal Government to cut emissions by 75% by 2030, and reach net zero by 2035. Please sign the petition.

Online Events

Informative webinars and group meetings of like-minded people can relieve the isolation of lockdowns. The Sydney Knitting Nannas & Friends meet every week to discuss actions such as writing letters to MPs, lodging submissions and doing social media. Online events on the Narrabri Gas Project are organised by Lock the Gate

The Climate Council and The Australia Institute conduct online events on climate action. Strong global action CAN achieve the Paris agreement’s 1.5C warming limit. The smallest community organisations and the largest companies are taking action. Connecting with others like you, keeps you hopeful.