SYDNEY, July 24 2020 – Santos’s controversial Narrabri gas plans will produce a large aircraft hangar worth of toxic brine containing radionuclides over the life of the project, with some of the waste slated to be dumped in Bohena creek, which feeds into the Murray Darling Basin.This morning Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner, Jonathan Moylan told the Independent Planning Commission that if Santos’ plan to extract gas from the pristine Pilliga Forest is approved, it would produce four B-double truckloads of brine every day, for twenty years, according to the Department of Planning’s own assessment.   

“Santos plans to dump an unspecified quantity of brine into Bohena Creek even though it has failed to properly assess the impacts of heavy metals and radionuclides that would be contained in the brine,” he said.

“Dumping toxic brine into the creek, combined with the movement of salt in unlined tips, will exacerbate the salinity crisis that is already affecting farmers and ecosystems.

“The unacceptable impacts of the Narrabri gas project on the water supply that underpins the local agriculture industry, creeks in the Murray Darling river system and the project’s contribution to global heating are all compelling reasons why this bitterly contested proposal must be rejected.”

Mr Moylan added that the “multilateral horizontal drilling” process required to produce unconventional fossil gas from more than 800 wells in the Pilliga is “highly experimental and has never been undertaken”.

“Santos is taking a massive gamble with the long term viability of one of the most important sources of fresh water in northern New South Wales and despite nearly a decade of assessment has still failed to provide enough evidence to satisfy government water experts that there will not be significant impacts on the critical Southern Recharge Zone of the Great Artesian Basin.”

“It is also disturbing that the Department has not made a proper assessment of the greenhouse impacts, according to legal requirements and that key experts involved in social impact assessment have had their findings misconstrued by the Department.” [1]


Notes for editors:

[1] Read the Sydney Environment Institute’s submission to the IPC on the Narrabri gas project, produced in collaboration with Greenpeace 



Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner, Martin Zavan

0424 295 422

[email protected]