KOALA SURVEY WITHIN PEL 238, October/November 2016 and assessment of significance of impact:
Ethical Ecology was engaged by Lock the Gate to undertake a review of data concerning the current status of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) within the PEL 238 (Santos), to conduct a survey within the PEL 238 and to undertake an assessment of the significance of impact from the proposed Narrabri Project production field would have on the koala.
Currently, the existing gas infrastructure is restricted to privately held land and state forest, though Pilliga East State Conservation Area is located to the south of the current project area on the eastern side of the Newell Highway and the Pilliga National Park is located to the west of the PEL.
The project area covers a substantial area of known koala habitat and the koala was identified by the Commonwealth as Matter of National Environmental Significance (MNES) affected by the Narrabri Project in their Referral Decision (EPBC 2103/6918). In addition, the Critically Endangered Ecological Community (CEEC) ‘Yellow Box – White Box – Blakely’s Red Gum Woodland and Derived Grassland’, preferred Koala habitat, found in the project area, was also identified as another reason the referral was ‘called in’. Of note is that neither was identified in the Referral by Santos as being MNES affected by their action.koala survey report_DP_2016_reduced
PILLIGA EAST STATE FOREST KOALA SURVEY Prepared by OWAD Environment for Western Woodlands Alliance
OWAD Environment was engaged by Western Woodlands Alliance (WWA) to conduct a one-day survey of Koala Phascolarctos cinereus in Pilliga East State Forest, New South Wales, using Taz the professional Koala scat detection dog. The purpose of this study was to gain an initial understanding of current presence/absence of Koalas across the areas assessed, based on presence/absence of the marsupial’s characteristic scats (faecal pellets). This report presents the findings of this study.OWAD-report-Pilliga-East-SF-Koala-survey-v2
‘The Spill’ by Felicia Marie Dounis
We have to see the spill, they say,
It’s not too far from here.
I gaze around at fertile ground,
Thick forest far and near.
What is the spill?, I ask aloud,
Anticipating the answer;
A broken dam, toxic land,
This forest has a cancer.
Hesitation steals my breath,
Do I want to see this?
A tainted space of chemical waste,
Our forest’s dead abyss.
I don’t refuse the invitation,
Instead, I choose to see,
The devastating consequence,
Of reckless CSG.
We travel through the canopy,
Ancestors, ancient and tall.
This sacred land at the hand of man,
Would surely see their fall.
A moment of silence is required,
For the site that lay before us;
No ancestors here…
Though spirits linger in the forest.
Their sadness splits and sears my soul,
There are no words to be said.
I scour the Earth for hints of life,
This is a graveyard…
Everything is dead.
And then fallen ones appear,
Rotten roots laid bare.
I surrender to my tears, and fear,
That Santos is still there.
This is what we’re standing for:
Protection from this plight.
The damage here, so very clear,
This forest is our fight.
We will make our voices heard,
We’ll lock the gates and barricade.
Arm-in-arm, we’ll do no harm,
And we will protest, unafraid.
I have no children of my own,
But when I do, they’ll know,
That the land on which they stand,
Was won from evil foe.
They’ll hear that warriors for water,
United for their sons and daughters.
Men and women of iron wills,
Did not relent because fracking kills.
And then I’ll bring them to this place,
They’ll feel the magic of this space.
And they will know we stopped the drills,
And guaranteed the end of spills.
Protector Suits are a legendary bunch, they come together to help stop nasty gas companies in their tracks and last met in the Pilliga forest in north-west NSW to highlight the threat to the Great Artesian Basin from Santos CSG!
To all who came and all that will I thank you!!
From the eagle to the snake, a connection flows
The rain falls and the wind blows
The sun shines bright
And oh, the stars in the night
My forest is worth keeping
In my forest children learn
Parents teach and passions burn
Together we stand
Locked hand to hand
For my forest is worth keeping
This forest filters water
Shelters my son, shelters my daughter
As they grow
They will know
Their forest is worth keeping
From these trees and with ease
Do not pillage
Do not plunder
Their forest is worth keeping
Days for fighting this crazy pest
Days of laughter and a little rest
All the people stand together
Our forest is worth keeping
Up ahead are the times
No more drilling, no more mines
No more fighting
No more push
For our forest is worth keeping
I’ll remember that day
To my grandkids I’ll say
Great people came and together stood
Knowing greed from the good
Your forest was worth keeping
by Ian Sutton
The Pilliga Push Camp is committed to protecting the waters of the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) and Murray Darling Basin by educating, uniting and mobilising communities. We shall sustain a Peaceful Direct Action (PDA) campaign to stop the development of Santos’s Narrabri Gas Project and the resulting destruction of the Pilliga (Billarrga) forest and its biodiversity, Gamilaraay sacred sites and cultural identity, as well as surrounding farmlands and the rural economy.
The Billarrga is one of very few significant recharge zones for the entire Great Artesian Basin (GAB), which extends over 22% of Australia and maintains base flows to countless wetlands, streams and rivers. This land is an incredibly sacred water sink, where the water cycle enters the largest underground water reservoir in the world, as well as contributes significantly to the head of pressure that helps drive the underground water flows.
This head of pressure created beneath the Billarrga enables the release of water back to the surface in more arid zones in Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and NSW, through natural springs and bores.
This process also helps hydrate the Murray Darling Basin and contributes significantly to the base flows of the Darling River.
Coal seams act as landscape filters, and the extreme water pressures deep below the ground have locked in hundreds of millions of years of accumulated salts and toxins, including volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and radioactive particles.
To release the gas from the coal seams Santos need to de-water and de-pressurise them, and in the process extract massive and unsustainable amounts of water from our underground reserves. The decrease in water pressure within the coal seams will impact significantly on the head of pressure driving the GAB, as well as release the salts and toxins.
In short, this campaign is about saving Australia’s future water security, food security and economic prosperity. ‘Water Is Life’, and once we destroy the water, there is no longer an economy, community or ecology.