Eastern Star Gas, headed by former Nationals Leader John Anderson, has plans to develop a massive coal seam gas field of around 550 gas wells in the State Forests of The Pilliga.
Commonly referred to as the ‘Pilliga Scrub’, this unique area near Narrabri is the largest remaining temperate woodland in NSW. It contains many threatened animal and plant species such as the Pilliga Mouse, Black-striped Wallaby and South-eastern Long-eared Bat.
This is the single biggest challenge to the NSW environment currently on the agenda. The gas project is set to clear over 2,400 hectares of native vegetation and will forever change the landscape of the Pilliga.
The Pilliga State Forest is a really important habitat. It is also an important recharge area for the Great Artesian Basin. So it is not just the bores which pose a problem (for the environment), but also the huge length of pipelines associated with this proposal and the pipeline down to Wellington (where a new gas turbine power station is planned) as well as a pipeline to Newcastle (for export purposes).
Normally Coal Seam Gas developments are solely within the realm of the State Government. The Pilliga/Narrabri proposal is different. The proposal has been classified a controlled document under the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPB&A).
This means that a single federal minister Tony.Burke.MP@aph.gov.au will make a decision on how the project is to be assessed by 1 June. We have until then to convince him to reject the proposal outright.
Please write to Tony Burke and encourage all of your friends to do so – We have a unique opportunity to shut down a whole coal seam gas field and to set a precedent on protecting our water, our land, our bush…