Knitting Nannas visit the Pilliga

Members of the Grafton Loop of Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed (KNAG) travelled to Narrabri for the third annual conference of the Knitting Nannas recently.
Narrabri was chosen as the venue because of its proximity to Santos’ proposed gas-field in the Pilliga and adjacent farmland.
The conference gave the Nannas an opportunity to learn more about Santos’ plans for the area. This immense development of 850 gas wells will have a devastating impact on the biodiverse-rich Pilliga forest which provides habitat for a range of threatened species including koala. It’s not just the number of wells proposed but all the accompanying infrastructure such as roads, pipelines, vents and flares which mean that large amounts of the forest will be cleared.
So here we have land owned by the people of NSW – it’s OUR forest – which is going to be devastated so that Santos can make massive profits.
Forest clearing is not the only issue about Santos’ gas-field. There are major concerns about contamination of the water table and impact on the recharge of the Great Artesian Basin. Santos also has a poor record in preventing and cleaning up toxic spills during operation of its pilot project. And then there’s the question of the disposal of huge volumes of produced water and salt. Santos has not provided satisfactory answers to these and many other questions.
While final approval has not yet been given for this proposal, the Nannas are concerned about the NSW Government’s record in pushing destructive mining projects which are not in the long-term community interest. It seems the big end of town is much more important to our politicians than the future health of our natural environment or productive farmland. We want to see this change.
Leonie Blain
for the Grafton Nannas