AN appeal against the NSW Independent Planning Commission's (IPC) decision to approve Santos' Narrabri Gas Project has been lodged in the NSW Land and Environment Court.
Lead by the Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord (MGPA), the action comes after farmers in the state's north west and western regions were outraged by the IPC's decision to approve the project in September.
The Environmental Defenders Office will represent the MGPA and will argue the IPC did not assess the project's climate impacts and failed to assess the impacts of an external pipeline which would be needed to transport the gas.
MGPA secretary Maddy Adams said the action had garnered plenty of support from farmers across the state.
"We were appalled that the IPC did not consider the impacts of an external gas pipeline to transport gas from the project," Ms Adams said.
"We've already seen damage from other gas pipelines to soils in our region - we know how much of a threat they pose to farming soils and to water resources.
"There is no doubt that the Narrabri Gas Project and the climate impacts it will trigger are a huge issue that will affect so many communities, which has led to people from far and wide getting involved to prevent this project".
The 850 gas-well project was approved with 134 environmental conditions and is expected to create 1500 jobs.
ACM contacted the IPC and Santos for comment.
Plans to appeal the decision came as NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes announced plans to convert the Kurri Kurri Aluminum Smelter into a gas-fired power station.
Announced as a critical state significant infrastructure project, the Hunter site, which was closed in 2012, is expected to produce 750MW of electricity on demand as well as create up to 600 jobs during construction.
"With another player in the energy market, it increases competition and will help mitigate the closure of Liddell's coal-fired power station in 2023, putting downward pressure on electricity prices," Mr Stokes said.
"Gas-fired power stations will have a critical role to play in ensuring our energy security as we transition to a low-carbon emissions economy with renewable energy projects such as wind and solar.
"As well, this project could create jobs for up to 600 construction workers and generate around $800 million worth of investment for the local economy."
The plans, put forward by Snowy Hydro, will be subject to community consultation and environmental assessment like any other major project, despite being deemed as a critical state significant infrastructure project.
Snowy Hydro, can now request assessment requirements to prepare an environmental impact statement, which will go on public exhibition for community feedback before a final decision is made.