TODAY at 1pm the Great Artesian Basin Protection Group gathered with its lawyers at the Coonamble Bowling Club to discuss alleged trespass and biosecurity breaches by APA, a company contracted to build a gas pipeline across NSW’s western slopes.
The gathering came as APA cancelled planned community information sessions slated for Tuesday and Wednesday in the wake of what the company claimed were exhortations from the GABPG to disrupt the meetings. The GABPG on Tuesday night expressed its dismay that APA had chosen not to host the meetings.
APA is looking to build the pipleline for gas giant Santos, that wants to sink 850 gas wells in a 95,000-hectare project area in what is largely declared the Pilliga State Forest.
The GABPG is concerned that forced gas extraction in the area could put at risk the aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.
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Farmers in the area contend if the basin’s integrity was compromised so too would their ability to farm an area responsible for vast food production. Santos argues as much as half of NSW’s natural gas needs would be catered for as a result of the project.
The project would involve pumping water into fissures of the earth to force naturally occurring underground gas to the surface where it could be captured. Controversy surrounds the procedure, with opponents claiming it is an unproven technology that puts at threat underground water reserves upon which human survival depends.