Minns Government must take strong stand against fossil fuel influence

Australian Greens

Fossil fuel lobbyists have begun their campaign to capture the Labor Government before votes have even finished being counted following the NSW state election. Newly sworn in Premier Chris Minns must take a strong stand against corporate bullies that are crafting a false narrative that more gas reserves must be developed to tackle the cost of living crisis.

The Greens have written to the Premier and Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, to challenge their assertions about Santos’ Narrabri Pilliga Gas Project being fully approved and beyond Government intervention.

Greens MP Sue Higginson and spokesperson for mining, coal and gas said “The NSW Labor Government has barely begun after 12 years of Coalition rule and the insidious influence of Santos and the fossil fuel lobby including the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) have already been spinning their misleading arguments about the need for more gas extraction and the fast tracking of Santos’ Narrabri Pilliga Gas Project,

“Assertions by newly minted Environment Minister Penny Sharpe that the Narrabri Pilliga Gas Project is approved and beyond the Government’s intervention simply don’t hold water because the fact is there are a multitude of applications, challenges and hurdles that still need approval from the Government before Santos can even begin the industrial extraction of coal seam gas by Santos,

“While some planning approval has been granted, the project is far from completely approved and without significant support from the Minns Labor Government, Santos’ Narrabri Pilliga gas project will not be able to operate on its own merits,

“Santos has not yet satisfied its prerequisite conditions to enliven stage one of its exploration only approval. Importantly, it has not yet even proven the gas reserve which explains the recent moves by Santos to expand exploration activities onto the Liverpool Plains. Santos’ moves on to the Liverpool Plains is highly contentious and should not be taken lightly by an incoming Government that will not be governing from a majority position. Farmers on the Liverpool Plains contend the former Perrottet Government granted those new gas exploration licences in bad faith and will fight the destruction of the Liverpool Plains as they always have,

“It is also the case that Santos does not have any approvals for the associated extensive and intrusive pipeline infrastructure that is the subject of growing community resistance due to the threats posed to agricultural land and community health and safety,

“10 years ago, the Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe visited the Liverpool Plains and promised that there would be no gas fields imposed on the community and the rich agricultural land that we all rely on. It would be an enormous loss of leadership by NSW Labor to allow the fossil fuel influence, that has driven public policy in NSW for the last 12 years, to continue unabated in the face of community resistance and the worsening climate crisis,” Ms Higginson said.

/Public Release. View in full here.