Arrow Pipeline Approval may “In Danger” the Great Barrier Reef
The approval of the Arrow Pipeline by the State government will have environmental consequences that may be more far reaching than anticipated. UNESCO is watching the state government and federal government actions in the lead up to its decision whether to put the Great Barrier Reef on the “In Danger” list. Their main concern initially was due to the LNG plants approved on Curtis Island.
June Norman, the grandmother who walked the pipeline before meeting the UNESCO team in Gladstone must wonder if the government won’t listen to her or UNESCO will it listen to anyone. The project would involve the construction of a 580 kilometre high-pressure gas pipeline to deliver coal seam gas from gas fields to a proposed LNG plant on Curtis Island. The pipeline would cross private land, roads, railway lines, watercourses and wetlands. It traverses strategic cropping lands and will have environmental impacts by itself. The EIS for the gas fields was recently criticised by ISEC for not considering cumulative impacts and may significantly impact on the aquifer. Queensland environment group Save the Reef has called on the international energy giant, Shell, to withdraw from its partnership with Arrow energy to be involved in this project which has such a high environmental cost, including the pipeline impacts and the development of a Liquefied Natural Gas plant on Curtis Island.
“The company made statements in November 2012 that it was concerned about the financial viability of the project but we are calling on them to withdraw on the grounds that the project conflicts with Shell’s public commitment to not ‘explore for, or develop, oil and gas resources in natural World Heritage Sites’” Save the Reef spokesperson Dr Libby Connors said today. Gladstone Harbour and Curtis Island fall within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage boundaries.
Shell first made this commitment to not operate in World Heritage Areas in 2003 and re-affirmed it after commissioning a report on World Heritage Sites and Extractive Sites in 2012. The company’s commitments are still available on the company’s global website as is the commissioned report.
<a href=”http://www.shell.com/global/environment-society/environment/biodiversity/protected-areas.html” target=”_blank”>http://www.shell.com/global/environment-society/environment/biodiversity/protected-areas.html</a>
<a href=”http://www.socialearth.org/workshop-highlights-extractive-sectors-commitments-to-preserve-world-heritage-sites” target=”_blank”>http://www.socialearth.org/workshop-highlights-extractive-sectors-commitments-to-preserve-world-heritage-sites</a>
The International Council on Mining and Metals [ICMM]has been working with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to develop no-go areas which should remain out of bounds to harmful extractive industries because of the importance of their biodiversity.
‘It is very clear that the Queensland Resources Council is way out of step with international best practice when it comes to recognising some areas are too important to mine or develop extractive industries within their boundaries.
‘Some of the world’s biggest miners are members of the ICMM and worked to develop this policy just last year,’ Dr Connors said.
Save the Reef says the fact that the Shell-Arrow pipeline will cause environmental problem, traversing strategic cropping land and finally connecting to an LNG plant to be located on the western side of Curtis Island in the middle of a state Dugong Sanctuary, where herds of about 140 animals used to feed on abundant seagrass, make the LNG project inconsistent with Shell’s publicly stated commitment to biodiversity.
‘We have been immensely disappointed with the failure of state regulation in Queensland and will be writing directly to Shell asking them to withdraw from this destructive project.’
For more information contact: Dr Libby Connors 0429 487 110 or Dr Andrew Jeremijenko 0438 372 653
<a href=”http://www.centraltelegraph.com.au/news/june-walks-gas-pipeline/1290712/” target=”_blank”><b>http://www.centraltelegraph.com.au/news/june-walks-gas-pipeline/1290712/</b></a>
<a href=”http://www.freetimes.com.au/wordpress/index.php/2012/05/great-grandmother-walks-for-a-future/” target=”_blank”><b>http://www.freetimes.com.au/wordpress/index.php/2012/05/great-grandmother-walks-for-a-future/</b></a>