About the Great Artesian Basin Protection Group

The Great Artesian Basin Protection Group is a not-for-profit organisation whose objectives are;

To protect, conserve and preserve for sustainable beneficial use, the surface and ground waters, and the integrity of the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) including, but not limited to:

  1. promotion and protection of ecological and sustainable development; and
  2. commissioning of technical reports and submission in relation to the impacts of development, of and upon the GAB and the farmland and communities that depend upon it.

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Jeremy Buckingham
Resources Minister Don Harwin connects Santos' Narrabri gas project with the petroleum exploration licences that still hang over the highly fertile Liverpool Plains region. If the Narrabri gas project goes ahead, will Santos then seek to roll out gas wells on the Liverpool Plains?

Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM ( 16:23 ): My question is directed to the Minister for Resources, and Minister for Energy and Utilities. Six petroleum exploration licences cover part of the iconic Liverpool Plains. Given that at Santos' recent annual general meeting its chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher told farmers that Santos has no plans to drill the wells in the Liverpool Plains but it cannot excise those parts of its licences that cover the Liverpool Plains and that it is something it will have to live with, will the Government provide certainty to the farmers of the Liverpool Plains by cancelling or buying back the parts of the petroleum exploration licences that cover the Liverpool Plains and permanently rule out gas extraction in this area?.

The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts) ( 16:24 ): I thank Mr Jeremy Buckingham for his question. As he indicates, those licences do have a connection with the Narrabri project that is currently being investigated by Santos. The Santos-Narrabri project and its associated environmental impact statement [EIS] were lodged on 1 February 2017 and exhibited between February and May last year. It is a matter of public record that the EIS attracted a large number of submissions from the community and Government—the highest number of submissions ever received for a publicly exhibited EIS.
On 13 April, just a few weeks ago, the Department of Planning and Environment received Santos' formal response to submissions for the project. The department is currently reviewing the response to submissions, which will be thoroughly considered by the department on its merits under legislation and New South Wales Government policy guidelines alongside the EIS. The application is currently progressing through a system of processes under the State significant development provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. I am sure Mr Jeremy Buckingham would be aware that the development assessment process is being handled by the Minister for Planning, but there are clear project benefits from the Narrabri—

Mr Jeremy Buckingham: Point of order: My point of order relates to relevance. I do not believe the Minister is being genuinely relevant to the question which related to petroleum exploration licences over the Liverpool Plains. The Narrabri gas project is a distinct project. I asked a question about petroleum exploration licences [PELs] and not about the Narrabri gas project. The Minister has talked only about the Narrabri gas project. I ask that he be drawn back to the substance of the question.

The PRESIDENT: I will look at the question. I thank Mr Jeremy Buckingham for his point of order. I believe that the Minister is being generally relevant. The Minister has the call.

The Hon. DON HARWIN: The project can deliver on the Government's priorities for a secure, reliable and affordable gas supply for the residents of New South Wales within the current market and related gas supply framework. It can provide a mid-to long-term domestic gas supply in New South Wales. It can also offer certainty to wholesale and retail customers in the short term by providing insulation from price shocks. It will have the capacity to generate up to 50 per cent of the State's gas supply at peak production, or 200 terajoules a day for more than 25 years. I visited the site of the project and some of the wells that have been dug. I spoke to people in the community who are concerned about the project and I met with a range of groups in the Narrabri community. There is extremely strong support for the Santos-Narrabri gas project in the town of Narrabri. The community understands what this project is worth to the town. It also understands the royalties and what that would mean for the State Government.

The PELs surround the Narrabri Gas Project. Nevertheless, the project and what is affected is dealt with by the EIS. While the project is in the development assessment phase, I am not proposing to take any action on the PELs until that process is concluded. I note that the PEL that covers the area south of Gunnedah— [Time expired.]

Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM ( 16:30 ): I ask a supplementary question. Will the Minister elucidate his answer about his comment that the petroleum exploration licences over the Liverpool Plains were "connected to the Narrabri Gas Project" by informing the House how they are connected to the Narrabri Gas Project?

The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts) ( 16:30 ): I thank the honourable member for his supplementary question. That is not my recollection of what I said. In any case, the key point is that the exploration licence known as PEL 1, which covers the area south of Gunnedah and the Liverpool Plains, is currently subject to a renewal application and will be assessed in accordance with digital imaging of geological system guidelines.
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12 hours ago

Great Artesian Basin Protection Group



We urgently call on Federal and State Governments to immediately block this project based on the deceit that has been deliberately presented during the case.

Clearly, the lack of accountability by New Hope Coal shows it is not fit to hold a mining license and we call on the Palaszczuk Government to now cancel this mining license approval.

Please share this post to everyone you know in the Oakey, Acland, Jondaryan, Brymaroo and Eastern Darling Downs regions as urgently as possible.

Without water there is no industry, no farming, no residents, no communities – and indeed, no life.

(Press Release from Frank Ashman, President of the Oaky Coal Action Alliance)

20th May 2016

Friends and Neighbours.

No doubt you would be aware that a case is being heard in the Brisbane Land Court between New Acland Coal and objectors to their potential Stage 3 expansion.

One of the Objectors is the Oakey Coal Action Alliance Inc. (OCAA) and is represented in the court by the Environmental Defenders Office Qld (EDO). Saul Holt QC is the Senior Counsel heading the case for OCAA.

During the last two weeks damming evidence was revealed that our district should be made aware of.

For a multitude of understandable reasons many people and businesses in our district have avoided becoming involved in voicing disapproval to New Acland Coal (NAC) application to expand their operation.

However, when groundwater/bores are likely to be affected it becomes everybody’s concern!

This concern was amplified in the Land Court during the last two weeks.

Initially Mr Andrew Durick a groundwater modeller for NAC was cross examined by Saul Holt QC.

Mr Durick provided a very poor explanation of correctness in the model chosen to represent events below ground in the Alluviums, Basalt, Walloon Coal Measure and the Marburg Sandstone aquifers utilised by us generally.

“Durick agreed certain matters not considered in the uncertainty analysis could have a significant impact on uncertainty.

Durick later admitted that his confidence in the predictive capacity of ground water is wavering a bit”. (Refer EDO website)

Tuesday 17th, OCAA’s groundwater expert, Professor Adrian Werner was cross examined by NAC’s QC Mr Ambrose.

Further evidence was presented by Professor Werner that modelling was poor and lacking, with calibrated results providing incorrect conclusions.

An added groundwater expert had been introduced by NAC in an attempt to improve a waning situation. Mr Brian Barnett a qualified Civil Engineer was the author of the New Acland Coal 2009 & 2013 Environment Impact Statement report to the Co-ordinator General. He was extensively examined by Saul Holt on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The general consensus of those present in the court was of absolute dismay and major concern during and after,this particular cross examination had concluded.

Revelations included:

• Models that were chosen and did not provide suitable or palatable results were disregarded.
• Effects on local bore drawdown were not accurate as the model changed the effect.
• Known water to be entering Stage 2 pit via a leaky fault (F5) was isolated from the model calculations.
• Bores that had major Standing Water Level (SWL) variations were included to allow greater deviation to reporting, instead of leaving them out, thus providing a more accurate report. Reference to bore RN 87205 west of Oakey Abattoir.
• Modelled fault lines shown on a map did not represent ACTUAL faults. These lines were included to provide idealistic outcomes in calibrations. These improvised fault lines are not real and will not stop/decrease/alleviate groundwater finding its way into NAC stage 3 pit.
• Drawdown estimations to neighbouring properties were not correct due to inappropriate modelling.

“Under cross-examination by Saul Holt QC for OCAA, Brian Barnett has conceded that the groundwater model includes fictional geological faults that are unlikely to exist. He also agreed that, in order to get the model to work, he:

• disregarded a fault known to be conductive to groundwater flow; and
• changed the direction of another mapped fault” (Refer EDO website)

Please become more aware of the potential impacts from Stage 3 on your water source, your land values and your enterprise. The alarm bells are ringing ask there will only be one opportunity to stop stage 3.

Ask me if you would like more information.

All data, in full form, will be shortly available from the land court transcripts.

Yours sincerely

Frank Ashman President 0427762787

(Photo: farmer with underground water. Stock photo)
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From two years ago -  Industry caught white-washing the data on underground water -  and whats changed?


Comment on Facebook

Not surprised at all they have been up to no good knowing full well this was the correct outcomes.But they and their political friend have lied through their teeth.

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Upcoming Events



War4Water Concert

  • Pub open Midday, Concert from 1pm
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WAR4WATER Concert 2018 Featuring: Sara Storer, The Bushwackers & Greg Storer Sunday 3 June 2018 at the Armatree Hotel Pub open

We are all in this fight together, we’re here together because we all care about our country and know that water is valuable and we need to protect it. It’s what sustains us all here in this room today. The land and the waterways are in our songs and story lines, our memories and dreaming, it’s in our blood all of us here.

Teresa Trindall

Gamilaroi Woman, GABPG meeting 10 Feb 2018

We have been let down by our leaders but that’s not good enough, we will stand firm, the people will speak and they will not let this happen

We have an obligation to hand over to future generations whats been given to us

David Chadwick

Tamworth Country Cares Concert 2018

We have the largest, deepest artesian basin in the entire world under almost a quarter of Australia,  I believe it’s the single greatest resource and asset Australia has.

Anne Kennedy