26 September 2017

Turnbull’s third thought bubble a gassy distraction

The NSW Government must not bow to pressure from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to carve up and pollute the Pilliga, the largest remaining woodland in inland NSW, for a new coal seam gas field in NSW.

“Trashing the Pillga forest to make a massive industrial gas field will not solve a short-term crisis caused by the Turnbull government’s incompetence in managing the nation’s energy sector,” NCC CEO Kate Smolski said.

“Drilling 850 coal seam gas wells in this ancient forest will threaten the recharge area of the Great Artesian Basin and jeopardise the livelihoods of farmers.

“The project has been marred by spills and environmental breaches ever since exploration and trial drilling began.

“If it is approved, these impacts will be scaled up massively, with potentially catastrophic consequences for wildlife and water supplies.”

Ms Smolski said the Australian Energy Market Operator’s has advised building more renewables was the best way to reduce demand for gas. Meanwhile, NSW currently sources just 6% of its energy from solar and wind.

“Mr Turnbull’s intervention yesterday is his latest attempt to divert attention from his government’s lack of coherent climate and energy policy,” she said.

“First we had an ad hoc announcement of a Snowy Hydro 2.0 feasibility study. Then a thought bubble that ‘old lady’ Liddell should continue to pollute for five years beyond its scheduled closure date. Now he is pushing for more coal seam gas that won’t be operational for years.

“Destroying NSW's fragile environment and groundwater can’t hide the fact that Mr Turnbull lacks a credible, effective and sustainable energy policy.

“Given the Federal Government won’t act to introduce sensible climate and energy policy, Premier Berejiklian must.”

The Nature Conservation Council calling on the Berejiklian government to transition NSW to a modern, clean energy system by:

  • Setting enforceable targets to source 50% of NSW’s electricity from renewables by 2025 and 100% by 2030;
  • Developing a plan for a quick and orderly phase-out of coal-fired power stations that is fair to power-station workers; and
  • Creating incentives for the development of storage technologies, including batteries and pumped hydro.



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