Pillaging the Pilliga

pilliga_csgImage: CSG site in the Pilliga Forest, NSW

I hope many of our members joined the recent Willoughby Forum held by the Lock the Gate Alliance on the impacts of the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry.  Opposition to CSG exploration and fracking is clearly growing. According to a recent Australia Institute survey of 1420 people conducted in March this year more than twice as many Australians supported moratoriums on fracking than those who opposed them.

Now is a critical moment in the campaign to stop Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project which plans to drill 850 coal seam gas wells through the Pilliga forest, the largest inland forest left in eastern Australia.  If developed, this would only be the start—Santos has mapped a total of seven huge gas fields across this region—and once the CSG industry gains a foothold, it’s very difficult to stop them. We’ve seen this happen in Queensland.

Santos’ risky quest for coal seam gas in the Pilliga so far has met disastrous results – with over 20 pollution scares, including groundwater contamination, waste spills, and continuing leaks from evaporation ponds.

Now the project has lost bipartisan political support with the State Opposition announcing policy specifically ruling out gas field development in the Pilliga. The economic justification for the project – a gas supply shortage in NSW – has also been conclusively disproven.

Stop CSG Sydney is organising a special film night on 15 May (see our activities list below) which you might like to support.

Members are also being asked to lodge a submission against the Narrabri Gas Project to help protect the Pilliga forest.  For more information on how you can do this visit the Wilderness Society page here or Lock the Gate here.

 

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