Hunter Gas Pipeline General Manager Garbis Simonian Says Documents Obtained by JTF Show Nothing Unusual | Newcastle Herald

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OPPONENTS to Queensland’s Hunter Gas Pipeline (HGP) project have released minutes of the company’s meetings with state government figures – obtained under freedom of information – in another round of the more than ten-year battle over the project. The Hunter Gas Landholders Rights Alliance and the Lock The Gate Alliance say minutes of two meetings with Environment Minister Matt Kean and others in late 2020 show that HGP – led by the Garbis Simonian business – attempted to have their pipeline “preferred” to a proposed line to take gas from Narrabri. However, as Lock The Gate acknowledged, the record shows Mr Kean telling supporters it was not for the government to ‘support each other’. IN THE NEWS: Hunter Gas Landholders president Meg Bowman described the meetings as “disappointing” because of the topics not discussed. “It is disappointing that during the developer’s meeting with the government, neither the developer nor the NSW government mentioned that this pipeline would cause incalculable damage to the lives and livelihoods of farmers,” said Ms. Bowman. IN THE PIPELINE: She said the pipeline would impact more than 1,000 hectares of koala habitat in northern New South Wales. She said the landowners group had about 70 members. In response, Mr Simonian said the project was first approved in February 2009, with a five-year extension, to October 2024, granted in 2019. He said the company had worked with the owners directly affected landowners on a final route and that “only around 5 percent” of those opposed, mostly “hobby farmers” with smaller holdings. He said the pipeline would be buried underground and claims of environmental damage were greatly exaggerated. He said meetings with government figures were an integral part of the development of such a project. He said the coal switch was causing global gas shortages and the pipeline was needed now more than ever. He said “discussions” had taken place with Santos – holder of the Narrabri gas field – on “cooperation”. He said the project was valued at around $850 million in 2009, but the cost would now be over $1.2 billion with increases in the costs of materials, labor and services. lands. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content: FacebookTwitterWhatsappEmail


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