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Four Corners investigates Curtis Island LNG approvals

The environmental assessment process for two of Australia's biggest coal seam gas projects was a "farce", a former public servant says.
The environmental assessment process for two of Australia's biggest coal seam gas projects was a "farce", a former public servant says. Santos

TWO Gladstone-based gas projects are the subject of a Four Corners investigation to air tonight.

In the program, a former Queensland public servant claims the environmental assessment process for two of Australia's biggest coal seam gas projects was a "farce".

Senior environmental specialist Simone Marsh was part of the Queensland Government team that approved Santos's $18 billion and Queensland Gas Company's $20 billion LNG projects in 2010.

She has told tonight's Four Corners program the final stages of the three-year approval processes were rushed and the environmental impacts were not properly assessed.

"All the scientific arguments in the world wouldn't have changed things in that situation," she said.

"They had decided they wanted to go ahead with the projects and there was nothing stopping it."

In 2010, during the final stages of the three-year approval process - after assessing the environmental impact statements  and supplementary materials ahead of the Coordinator-General's report - she repeatedly raised concerns about the lack of key information in the documents.

Four Corners has obtained more than 900 pages of documents under Queensland's Right To Information Act.

The Four Corners program Gas Leaks airs on ABC1 at 8.30pm tonight.

Read more here.

Topics:  csg curtis island gladstone lng resources



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