Right now, the Federal Government is trying to persuade the states to mine more gas in light of a gas crisis manufactured by energy providers by committing too much to the export market. 

But the people have spoken. The Gomeroi/Gamilaraay, the farmers and landholders overwhelmingly voted against the coal seam gas development of the Pilliga and surrounds. They voted against the industrialisation and destruction of this beautiful, vast bushland and poisoning of the aquifers beneath it. This area is one of the most important recharge areas for the Great Artesian Basin. Despite this lack of social license, Santos has just opened their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public comment…all 7000 pages of technobabble. We have until May 22 to push back against this and push hard. The money raised from this excellent night of funstering will go towards the hire of experts who can unravel this EIS. It’s not hard to find it’s faults, but it’s so huge, it will take professionals to do it quickly. The aim is to provide insurmountable evidence and reasoning to knock back this project.

More info: “The Pilliga/Narrabri Gas Project is the largest development ever proposed under the modern planning system, and four times the size of the only other two CSG projects assessed and approved in NSW. Santos proposes up to 850 wells on 425 well pads over 95,000 hectares.

The proposal includes a gas processing facility for compression dehydration and treatment of gas, a water management facility for storage and treatment of produced water and brine, possible additional power generation on site, continual flaring (burning off of gas) at two locations, an infrastructure corridor through the forest between Leewood and Bibblewindi, expansion of worker accommodation, discharge of waste water into Bohena Creek, irrigation with treated water and landfill burial of tens of thousands of tonnes of salt.” (Lock the Gate)

It’s huge.

Water usage in Australia is a critical issue for everyone.  As concerns unconventional gas, it is the extraction of the water that arises from the drilling process, ‘produced water’, and the consequent disposal of it that goes beyond property boundaries and concerns all surrounding communities, industries and agriculture. The National Water Commission estimated that each gas well produces 20,000 litres of produced water PER DAY. This brackish ‘produced’ water often contains ancient organic and inorganic toxins, and has a high salt content. Santos has not addressed the disposal of this dangerous tide.

The drawdown effect of releasing of pressure in the gas-containing aquifer can impact the water levels around it. Surrounding bores often dry up or are permeated with methane, and environmental flows are greatly reduced causing enormous financial cost to properties and irreversible damage to the environment upon which we all depend. Gas mining activities have the potential to induce connection and cross-contamination between aquifers, with impacts on groundwater quality.

The chemicals and techniques used to punch through the earth to the underground gas fields are determined by the geology of that area. However, in the US, approximately 650 of these chemicals contain hazardous substances that have been known to leach through to connected aquifers, again impacting agricultural and drinking water further afield.

In the Pilliga, it will destroy countless habitats through the construction of well pads, but worse still, the pipeline easements that are 40 metres wide and will criss-cross nearly the entire unprotected forest. There are impacts on Sacred Sites, on health, water, earth and air.


At the White Eagle Polish Club, with MikelangeloThe King Hits and Nozl.

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