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Armidale NPA presentation to IPC Narrabri Gas Project hearing

Lynne Hosking for Armidale Branch National Parks Association

Monday 20 July @ 3:50 pm

Thank you for the opportunity of meeting with you.

Armidale NPA has members throughout NW NSW. Some are property owners who have experienced extreme stress from drought and bushfires, yet are still keen to have special places protected.

For the last twenty years, we as volunteers have been involved with The Pilliga by taking people on educational visits, supporting locals, and advocating for the protection of The Pilliga

I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of The Pilliga and express our respect for Elders. We are grateful to be able to visit their beautiful country.

Last year we had 4 visits – 3 excursions as well as organising a forum “Sky-Earth-Water-Life: Conversations in The Pilliga”

Locally we bought food & fuel & stayed in accommodation, thus supporting local businesses within The Pilliga as well as Coonabarabran, Narrabri & the Baradine & Pilliga townships.

The Pilliga, as a whole integrated forest area is incredibly important, not only special for the community and the beloved homeland of Gomeroi people, The Pilliga is also recognized nationally and indeed globally as a Biological Hotspot and internationally recognised important bird area

Throughout these slides I have included some comments from people who come on our excursions &  tag-along trips

 

Notes to accompany a powerpoint presentation

Thank you for the opportunity of meeting with you.

Armidale NPA has members throughout NW NSW.

Some are property owners who have experienced extreme stress from drought and bushfires, yet are still keen to have special places protected.

For the last twenty years, we as volunteers have been involved with The Pilliga by taking people on educational visits, supporting locals, and advocating for the protection of The Pilliga

I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of The Pilliga and express our respect for Elders. We are grateful to be able to visit their beautiful country

Last year we had 4 visits – 3 excursions as well as organising a forum “Sky-Earth-Water-Life: Conversations in The Pilliga”

Locally we bought food & fuel & stayed in accommodation, thus supporting local businesses within The Pilliga as well as Coonabarabran, Narrabri & the Baradine & Pilliga townships.

The Pilliga, as a whole integrated forest area is incredibly important, not only special for the community and the beloved homeland of Gomeroi people, The Pilliga is also recognized nationally and indeed globally as a Biological Hotspot and internationally recognised important bird area

Throughout these slides I have included some comments from people who come on our excursions &  tag-along trips

Narrabri & Coonabarabran Shires and Barradine all promote the cultural, historic and natural values of The Pilliga.

Bird routes are promoted, and many visitors avail themselves with printed directions and species lists to travel through The Pilliga

Species such as the koala and The Pilliga mouse are well known – I would be chuffed if I had a scientific name that recognized where I came from!

Less well know but vitally important for the ecological health of The Pilliga are insects and invertebrates

Last year at our “Conversations in The Pilliga” we were amazed to learn that new species are still being discovered.  And that not all cockroaches are distasteful. Visiting The Pilliga is a journey of discovery and wonder.

We do not believe that The Pilliga can retain its integrity from the impacts of the Narrabri gas project nor

meet the  state and federal environmental legislative requirements that are designed to protect biodiversity, heritage, health and safety of the local community.

There is no recognition by the proponents of the Narrabri coal seam gas proposal of the  place of The Pilliga within the wider landscape context,

Nor the vital role of connectivity of ground water in The Pilliga recharge hydrology system that is an essential element in replenishing the Great Artesian Basin

Fragmentation is recognised as a Key Threatening Process under the Biodiversity Conservation Act. Fragmentation impacts on The Pilliga in a number of ways – give example of Noisy Miners –Regent Honeyeater

We cannot compartmentalise The Pilliga nor downplay the importance of retaining the integrity of the whole of The Pilliga;

as it sustains water reserves, animal and plant life, is important for the Gomeroi’s continued relationship as well as that of The Pilliga community and farming families in surrounding areas.

As you can see, it is not just the Narrabri csg project that is damaging the integrity of The Pilliga, but also significant damage to north east Pilliga is being wrought in the forest and to the ground water sources by Whitehaven’s long-wall coal mine. There is a network of new cleared roads, tracks and pads with  methane venting drill holes. So we have cumulative damaging impacts that will destroy the integrity of The Pilliga and these need to be taken into account when assessing any development proposals

Coal seam gas PELs are causing enormous anxiety to food producers and communities across a large part of NSW and we share these concerns

The Pilliga is a National jewel too precious to plunder

Protect The Pilliga by rejecting the Narrabri CSG proposal

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