By EDO NSW CEO/Principal Solicitor Sue Higginson
You may have heard that our client People for the Plains, a community group from the Pilliga, is taking CSG company Santos to court over its Leewood CSG waste water development near the iconic Pilliga woodlands. The group argues that without a proper environmental assessment and public consultation, the development is illegal.
The Pilliga – a biodiversity hotspot
The Pilliga is the largest remaining unfragmented block of temperate dry forest and woodland in eastern Australia. It functions as a key refuge for native plants and animals in a landscape largely cleared for agriculture. It is part of a National Biodiversity Hotspot, home to rare species such as the Pilliga Mouse, and is recognised as a globally significant Important Bird Area.
The Pilliga is an important, biodiverse ecosystem. It is also a significant recharge area for the Great Artesian Basin, one of the largest underground water reservoirs in the world and the most important ground water resource in arid and semi-arid eastern Australia.
Within this stunning environment, the Leewood Water Treatment Plant will process over 1 million litres of coal seam gas (CSG) waste water every day. Santos then plans to use the water to irrigate crops on farmland next to the Pilliga forest.
CSG in the Pilliga – spills, leaks and breaches
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