Gomeroi man Raymond “Bubbly” Weatherall, on behalf of the custodians of the Narrabri-Pilliga region, told a rally on December 17 outside the APA Group that “people [must] come together to stop this destruction [by APA and Santos] of our land and sacred sites”.
The protest, part of SS4C’s Friday Fossil Fuel Fiesta series of actions, was organised by Workers for Climate Action (W4CA) and School Students for Climate (SS4C).The APA group is the biggest gas infrastructure company in Australia.
Up to $1 billion has been earmarked for a new gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter region of New South Wales. It initially plans to run on diesel fuel while new gas pipelines are built to feed the plant. It would provide a market for Santos’ Narrabri coal seam gas project.
“We definitely don’t need a new gas-fired power plant in the Hunter,” said Peter Horsley from the Gas Free Hunter Alliance. “The Kurri plant will cost taxpayers around $600 million, and run for only 2% of the year. It is in the interests of the corporate sector only, not future generations.”
Michael Wright, Electrical Trades Union (ETU) assistant national secretary, said the union didn’t support the Kurri Kurri gas project.
“Coal and gas have no future”, he said. “Our members support a just transition to secure, green jobs in renewable energy industries. The only way to make real change is to stand together.”
Caitlin Doyle-Markwick from W4CA and Ouwais Menzel from SS4C also spoke.
The protest marched through the city to the headquarters of the National Australia Bank, a major investor in the Adani coal mine and other fossil fuel projects.