Farmers protest Hunter Gas Pipeline project in Sydney

Farmers have traveled hundreds of kilometres to deliver a petition with the Lock the Gate Alliance to the NSW Energy Minister’s office, demanding he reject the Hunter Gas Pipeline.

More than 200 landholders signed the petition against the creation of gas pipeline from Queensland to Newcastle.

Santos bought the project in August and while the underground route has been approved, it still needs buy-in from landholders and local councils.

The State Significant Infrastructure project has been in the pipeline for some time having been initially approved by the planning department in 2009. It is still yet to be granted a pipeline licence though and doesn’t have an authority to survey.

Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord spokesperson Margaret Fleck said farmers were determined to stop Santos’ pipeline which will threaten farmland and ecologically significant habitat between Narrabri and Newcastle.

“More gas is not the answer, it will only make the problem worse – the solution is a rapid shift to renewable energy, and that’s the message Matt Kean should be taking to national cabinet.

“Matt Kean can either send Santos and its gas pipeline plans packing, or he will condemn farmers and landholders to a bitter battle against this oil and gas giant.

“Farmers and landholders all along the planned pipeline routes are locking their gates. They are refusing to engage with Santos or their agents and they are not signing land survey agreements.

“Santos and the Perrottet Government will find that opposition to this pipeline in our region is not going away, and farmers will not back down.”

The pipeline corridor travels along the back boundary of Virginia Congdon’s Westbrook property in the Upper Hunter Valley and she said the pipeline would threaten the environment, the insurability of her property, its value, and was a fire risk.

“It would require a lot of environmental damage and it’s an obscene imposition on landholders who have to modify their lives for a project that is outdated and not wanted,” said Virginia.

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