News / Community / Business / 30th September 2020
Dark day for the Pilliga Forest
Despite record-breaking public opposition to the Narrabri Gas Project, on Wednesday, 30 September, the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) announced a “phased approval” of the coal seam gas field in the Pilliga Forest.
In its report, the Commission has determined that consent should be granted to the project, subject to 134 conditions.
“Following its detailed deliberations, the Commission concludes the project is in the public interest and that any negative impacts can be effectively mitigated with strict conditions,” the Commission’s Statement of Reasons for Decision reads.
“The Commission has granted a phased approvalthatissubject to stringent conditions, which means that the applicant must meet specific requirements before the project can progress to the next phase of development.
“The Commission notes that the approval does not include consent for the proposed gas fired power station at Leewood, the Westport workers accommodation or non-safety flaring infrastructure.”
The final decision has left many community members reeling after almost a decade of combat against multi-billion dollar gas company, Santos.
Coonabarabran Residents Against Gas (CRAG) member, Jane Judd, said the three Commissioners were under constant and unconscionable pressure by politicians and vested interests to support a “gas led recovery” in spite of massive wide-spread community opposition and the clear predictions that gas is no longer a suitable transition source of energy.
“The project approval will open up farmland and bushland from Moree to Murrurundi to the creeping cancer of gas infrastructure,” Mrs Juddsaid.
“Think what could be done to mitigate and reverse climate change if the promised $3.5 billion for the project were used to produce a just transition to a carbon neutral economy.”