Conservation groups have vowed to continue the campaign to stop the Narrabri gas project despoiling the largest temperate forest in NSW.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley yesterday approved the project that will convert the Pilliga into an industrial gas field.
Nature Conservation Chief Executive Chris Gambian said: “This is a terrible project at a terrible time. It will cause carbon emissions in a world that urgently needs to decarbonise.
“It will also wreck the rare and precious Pilliga forest and the farms around it.
“The Federal Government’s approval is short sighted and opportunistic at a time when we desperately need thoughtful leadership.”
Santos proposes to sink 850 coal-seam gas wells in the Pilliga forest and surrounding farmland despite significant environmental risks and more than 20,000 public submissions in opposition to the project.
“The Pilliga is the largest temperate forest we have left in the state and is home to many threatened plants and animals,” Mr Gambian said.
“Turning this priceless wilderness into an industrial gas field will poison groundwater, carve up the forest with roads and pipelines, endanger koalas and other threatened species, and increase the risk of wildfires.
“It will also release millions of tonnes of potent climate pollution during mining and when the gas is finally burned.
“More than 23,000 people have already made submissions opposing this project. It has virtually no public support and we will not rest until it is stopped.
“It is hard to think of a more iconic environmental battle in our times than the campaign to protect the Pilliga.”
MEDIA CONTACT: James Tremain | 0419 272 254