The Independent Planning Commission considering the proposed Narrabri Gas Project convened a ‘Zoom’ online meeting today to further examine water issues.

In a statement, the IPC said the meeting was part of the Commission’s determination process for the project.

Last week more than 400 organisations and individuals from farmer, environmental and community groups made submissions to the IPC panel.

The majority was opposed to the project.

Submissions were made via videolink and phone. Many speakers gave their presentations from a studio set up at The Crossing Theatre where they addressed the three member IPC panel.

The public hearing from July 20 to 25 has been extended by another day, Saturday August 1, and written submissions will be accepted until Monday, August 10.

Today’s Zoom meeting was called to further discuss issues around groundwater. The meeting heard an overview of the key observations and recommendations in the Water Expert Panel Report (February 2020) and covered a ‘response to the concerns raised during the Public Hearing that knowledge gaps in relation to the groundwater model, geology, hydrogeology and seismic activity create uncertainty about the risks posed by the Narrabri Gas Project.’

“The potential for groundwater contamination via well integrity failure or geological pathways such as faults etc.” was also on the agenda with the meeting discussing ‘the risks and options associated with management of the salt waste.’

The IPC panel, chaired by Stephen O’Connor, discussed the observations of the Water Expert Panel which comprises chair Professor Peter Cook, Professor Chris Fell, Professor John Carter and hydrogeologist Michael Williams.

The IPC is expected to make its determination on the future of the Narrabri Gas Project by September 4.

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