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The federal agriculture minister, David Littleproud, has backed the Narrabri gas project despite objections from farmers and the community.

During a National Rural Press Club event today, Littleproud was asked whether he supported the Santos-proposed coal-seam gas project that was recently approved by the New South Wales Independent Planning Commission.

“Yes I do, on conditions,” he replied.

The National Farmers Federation last month urged the Morrison government to tread carefully with its “gas-led recovery”, declaring farmers needed to be in control of their land use, and the security of groundwater must be paramount, as Katharine Murphy reported.

NSW Farmers, the state’s peak farming body, explicitly opposes the Narrabri project, saying its members “believe the project poses an unacceptable risk to the water resources, soil and air quality, local food and fibre production and rural communities in western NSW”.

While backing the project, Littleproud also stressed the need for good regulatory oversight by the states and for farmers’ land rights to be protected.

He was speaking during a post-budget debate organised by the National Rural Press Club but held at the National Press Club in Canberra. The other panellist, Labor’s agriculture and resources spokesperson, Joel Fitzgibbon, said he too supported the Narrabri project.

Read the original article at The Guardian

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