Narrabri Shire Council

Media Statement - Clarification on Santos EIS Submission

(29-May-17)

 Media Statement

Clarification on Santos EIS Submission

Narrabri Shire Council wishes to clarify and provide context for a number of comments from its Director of Development and Economic Growth that appeared in a recent Sydney Morning Herald story regarding Council’s submission on the Narrabri Gas Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Council is concerned that headlines such as “Monitor the damn thing” are being used for sensationalism and portraying that Council has a negative perspective of the Narrabri Gas Project.

Council’s Director Development and Economic Growth, Mr Tony Meppem, confirms the context of his discussions;

“My comments were made in relation to comments received by Council from those in the community affected by dust from local coal mine developments and in general wanting the Government to ‘monitor the damn things’ not the proponents as currently occurs and what is being proposed with the Narrabri Gas Project. I made the comment from
their perspective and used their language – not that of Narrabri Shire Council’s.”

Further concerns of Council are that statements are being partially published; “Government likes to absolve itself of responsibility for checking environmental impacts”; the Council’s Director’s comment actually finished with “by making proponents carryout their own environmental monitoring.”

Council has for many years been lobbying for the NSW Government to install and operate independent regional dust monitoring in the Namoi Valley to provide local residents with added confidence in appropriate oversight and has consistently opposed environmental monitoring being performed by operators of state significant projects which was
the context under which the Council’s Director provided comment.

Council has taken a neutral stance on the Narrabri Gas Project, as Council appreciates the positive economic impacts and opportunities such a project will provide to the Shire; Council has used the current opportunity from the Department of Planning and Environment to comment on the issues it has identified in Santos’s EIS.

Council’s full EIS submission is available from its website, www.narrabri.nsw.gov.au.

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