Yesterday’s approval of the Narrabri Gas project signals the demise of any pretense of objective environmental impact assessment in NSW.
‘Once upon a time there was a red line beyond which environmentally damaging projects would be rejected’ stated NPA Executive Officer Gary Dunnett.
‘This decision tells us there is now no such thing as a ‘red line’. The Narrabri approval joins Snowy 2.0 in demonstrating that our environmental laws have become nothing more than legal mechanisms for dismissing community opposition to dangerous and damaging development.
‘Any lingering hope that objective assessment and community views would influence planning outcomes has flushed away by the government’s determination to remove any constraints on its fossil fuel and infrastructure projects. Supporting this loss of accountability are planning bureaucracies that have become culturally incapable of refusing such projects. Even worse, they expect us to believe that their ‘detailed conditions of approval’ make even the most destructive and ill-considered developments acceptable.
‘The collapse of land, biodiversity and air cannot be mitigated by feel good conditions of approval. The presumption that every project deserves approval makes the environmental impact assessment process a hollow sham. How can we face future generations who will inherit this appalling legacy?
As a service to planning bureaucrats and developers alike, NPA recommends the ‘Dummies Guide to EIS Approvals’. It demonstrates the trite justifications, dodgy mitigations and arrogant rejection of community concerns that have become the hallmarks of the NSW planning system.
Gary Dunnett, Executive Officer NPA 02 9299 0000