Australia Approves A Major Long-Term Energy Project
New South Wales government informed that independent commission gave green light to the natural-gas project that will create badly needed jobs.
The authorities stated that the approval for a A$3.6 billion coal seam gas development is conditional.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was "relieved" that an independent commission had given energy firm Santos the green light to proceed, adding that gas was a "central part of our energy security into the future".
The project is a keystone of conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison's plan for a "gas-fired recovery" of the Wuhan virus damaged economy, as Australia grapples with its first recession in almost 30 years and a million job losses.
Up to 850 wells would be drilled on 1,000 ha of a 95,000 ha site, the representative of the Santos said, with the potential to supply half the gas needs for the country's most populous state.
Approval of the gas project came a day after Queensland's government gave a final go ahead for the state's third-largest coal mine, which officials say is expected to have an 80-year lifespan and employ 1,000 workers once operational.
Nevertheless the radical activists launched protests against the fossil-fuel project.
Conservationists have raised fears over the impact on vast tracts of forest and farmland near Narrabri, northwest of Sydney, as well as Mr Morrison's doubling down on carbon-emitting fuels.
"With this approval, we risk becoming a fossil fuel pariah as the world transitions to renewable energies and countries strengthen their commitment to climate action," Greens parliamentarian Cate Faehrmann said.
However, the protests were unlikely to stop the project.