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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Northern Daily Leader

Author: Kate Schwager/Friday, 6 October 2017/Categories: Boggabri, Narrabri, Wee Waa

After ten years opposition to Santos and Eastern Star Gas efforts to get coal seam gas projects approved, North West NSW farmers respond in alarm to ACCC suggestions that onshore gas should be rolled out in the Pilliga and across farmland. 

While supporting ACCC calls for coal seam gas exports to be curbed for domestic supply, farmers and communities who depend on safe reliable supplies of underground water will not accept any coal seam gas project that puts at risk this valuable resource. 

As extreme drought conditions are being experienced across major parts of NSW, farmers, graziers and rural communities are faced with the worrying prospect of how their water supply will hold up in these conditions.

Grazing operations that rely on runoff for dams will be totally dependent on safe reliable supplies of underground water from bores. Many towns are facing water restrictions or having to rely on water to be carted to sustain them.

The absolute necessity to protect underground water should be apparent to anyone who relies on water from a bore in these times of drought. 

The Great Artesian Basin is the only source of underground water we in Australia have. To put this resource at risk by depletion or contamination from coal seam gas extraction is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the communities and landowners across the North West.

Santos have stated that their operations will have a significant impact on the groundwater resources of the Gunnedah Oxley Basin. Ref: October 2014 Referral to Federal Government Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act – page 65…..quote: An assessment of the project indicates the duration and wider geographic extent of depressurisation of groundwater head within the coal seams and adjacent strata will cause a significant impact of the groundwater resources of the Gunnedah – Oxley Basin.”

Santos’ operations in the Pilliga, if allowed to proceed, will play out the predictions the company has made. 

The plan for 850 wells in that region and application for further wells across the Liverpool Plains will have serious repercussions on the clean reliable groundwater the North West depends on.

The Pilliga Forest is a large temperate woodland. 

ot only does the area support many forms of endangered species but the sandy soils of the whole area act as a giant filter for the Great Artesian Basin. 

The Pilliga is a major recharge area for the Great Artesian Basin. 

Santos in their quest to release coal seam gas have to drill through the upper aquifers, sealing off the pipeline to protect the upper aquifers from leaking down into lower levels. 

Despite Santos’ warning in their report to the Federal Government in 2014 that their operations will cause upper aquifers to drawdown as a result of depressurisation, Santos now expect us to believe that this will not occur.

The people who live on the 3.2 million hectares surveyed with a resounding 96.8% of people saying “NO” to a coal seam gas development in this region will not tolerate any threat to the underground water they rely on.

David Quince, Chairman Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord



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