The pipeline that connects the Narrabri Gas Project to the Hunter Gas Pipeline has been declared critical infrastructure by the New South Wales government, and opponents are speeding up the approval process for the plan. , which limits the discussion.
- The project is expected to boost the state’s economy but faces strong opposition
- Environmental groups say the situation is “a bit of a mockery” of the government’s climate change promises.
- Government says project will help transition to renewable energy
Prime Minister Dominic Perrotet announced today that the 50-kilometre-long Narrabri Gas Lateral Pipeline is the critical link needed to connect the two networks.
It was declared Critical State Critical Infrastructure (CSSI) as it was deemed essential to NSW for economic reasons.
CSSI status means that no third party can file a legal appeal against the project without the Minister’s consent.
The declaration also means that the minister will give the green light to the project through the planning process.
However, this status does not mean that the pipeline will definitely progress.
Energy giant Santos will have to go through several planning stages, including developing an environmental impact statement (EIS) and consulting with the community.
The Hunter Gas Pipeline to which it is due to connect has not yet been built and Santos is facing staunch opposition from landowners who do not agree to perform initial work on their properties.
While the Narrabri Gas Project itself has been approved, Not completing all required management plans before starting drilling.
“A little joke”
Pamela Austin, secretary of the Hunter Gas Landowners Rights Alliance (HGLRA), said the announcement was disappointing.
“We are clearly against the Hunter Gas Pipeline and the project relies on a lateral pipeline,” she said.
“Therefore, we assist and fully support the transverse pipeline landowners who oppose this.”
Austin said the declaration would make it harder for him to oppose the project.
“[Declaring critical infrastructure] Indeed, it has become more difficult to oppose the Hunter Gas Pipeline or find reasons not to get, for example, the extension it got in 2019.
“It speeds up the process to some extent.
“It also reduces the amount of environmental impact governments are concerned about when these projects are introduced.
“Many of our members are very concerned about the environmental impact of this pipeline, not to mention the impact on private property.”
The environmental advocacy group Rock the Gate was also disappointed by the announcement.
NSW coordinator Nic Clyde said the government claims to support the goals of the Paris Agreement but made the announcement amid dire climate change warnings from many international bodies.
“It’s a little mocking [Energy Minister] Matt Keane and the Prime Minister’s promise to take climate issues seriously and keep New South Wales away from coal and gas.”
$90m cash boost, minister says
In a statement, Perrottet said the project is “critical to ensuring affordable and reliable gas for the more than one million homes and thousands of businesses that rely on natural gas for heating, cooking and power generation. ‘ said.
The Prime Minister said Narrabri, once operational, will become the backbone of the state’s gas needs and support the transition to renewable energy.
Planning Minister Anthony Roberts said the pipeline, if advanced, would inject up to $90 million into the economy during construction and create up to 200 construction jobs.
Santos can now request assessment requirements to prepare an EIS. This EIS is subject to extensive community consultation and a full environmental assessment.
ABC reached out to Santos, but declined to comment.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-12-09/nsw-government-declares-gas-pipeline-critical-infrastructure/101755790 New South Wales government declares gas pipeline project ‘critical state critical infrastructure’