Farmers on the New South Wales Liverpool Plains are involved oil and gasoline firm Santos is a step nearer to constructing its controversial Hunter Gasoline Pipeline challenge after a shock land buy.

It has been revealed that the interstate administrators of the personal firm negotiating land entry for the challenge had lately purchased a property that intersects the pipeline route.

Now they’ve given Santos entry to survey and peg a “laydown” space on their property.

With Santos persevering with to face landholder opposition to the gasoline line, and its present approval resulting from run out in a 12 months if it has not “bodily commenced” work by October 2024, the acquisition seems advantageous.

Now a Division of Surroundings and Planning spokesperson has confirmed to the ABC that “the event of laydown yards will set off bodily graduation of the challenge”.

Survey pegs seem

Margaret Fleck standing with crossed arms on her property at Mullaley in New South Wales, 2023.

Grazier Margaret Fleck is a long-time campaigner towards CSG improvement in north-west NSW.(ABC Information: Ameila Bernasconi)

Mullaley grazier Margaret Fleck has lengthy opposed any transfer that might see coal seam gasoline (CSG) improvement in north-west New South Wales, together with on the fertile Liverpool Plains.

Just lately she was contacted by somebody residing close to the proposed Hunter Gasoline Pipeline route — an 833-kilometre pipeline that runs from southern Queensland to the Port of Newcastle.

“We had been despatched photos by a neighborhood landholder that had seen some pegs, survey pegs,” Ms Fleck mentioned.

The pegs had been simply contained in the fence on a property and may very well be seen from the street.

“It was fairly clearly written ‘Hunter Gasoline Laydown’,” Ms Fleck mentioned.

A survey peg with with writing saying "Hunter Gas Laydown".

This survey peg for the pipeline was seen by a landholder earlier than the gasoline firm was granted approval.(Equipped)

A “laydown” space is the place supplies, equipment, and gear will be saved in the course of the development of a challenge.

Ms Fleck did a title seek for the property that had been surveyed and found it was owned by an organization named Perlubie Property Holdings Pty Ltd.

The names of the corporate administrators had been acquainted, so Ms Fleck did some extra digging.

“We established that the homeowners of this firm had been, the truth is, the director and managing director of the land entry brokers that Santos are utilizing, making an attempt to ascertain agreements with landholders to survey for the pipeline,” Ms Fleck mentioned.

“I believe that the corporate had inside data from Santos. They noticed the chance given the landholder opposition.”


The administrators of Perlubie Property Holdings are additionally the administrators of Land Entry Administration Companies (LAMS) which lists the Hunter Gasoline Pipeline as one among its shoppers.

The ABC isn’t suggesting the administrators have completed something unlawful. There’s nothing to cease anybody, together with brokers of Santos, from shopping for land within the space and permitting Santos entry to the property.

The personal businessmen have directed inquiries to Santos.

“Please refer any additional queries to the Santos communications workforce at Santos Brisbane,” one of many administrators informed the ABC through electronic mail.

A gate with signs reading 'Private Property' and 'No Hunter Gas Pipeline' on farm land near Maitland, October 2023.

There are lots of landholders alongside Santos’ Hunter Gasoline Pipeline route who’re refusing entry to survey.(ABC Information: Amelia Bernasconi)

A Santos spokesperson mentioned the property was bought on the open market from a “keen vendor who was conscious of the proposed use of the property”.

“Santos has a industrial lease settlement with the purchaser to make use of the property for authorised actions associated to the Hunter Gasoline Pipeline,” the spokesperson mentioned.

“Santos’ preparations with lessors, contractors, and landholders are confidential to the events concerned and we’ll respect their privateness rights.”

Pegged earlier than approval

The survey pegs labelled “Hunter Gasoline Laydown” had been seen earlier than Santos had been granted its “Approval of Staging Request”.

Santos wrote to the Division of Surroundings and Planning on September 19 requesting approval to construct the pipeline on a “staged foundation”.

The pictures of the surveyor labelled pegs had been taken on September 27.

Santos was not granted official approval, together with for laydown yards, till October 4.