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Energy company Santos has come under fire, for refusing to provide the state government with key information about its Narrabri development.

The company recently submitted an application for the 95,000-hectare coal seam gas project.

But it’s reportedly refused multiple requests for information from the Environment Protection Authority, the Rural Fire Service and Narrabri Shire Council.

The company has also denied an EPA request to assess whether the site can accommodate large volumes of salt waste.

Bellata train accident: man dead following train-ute collision

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UPDATE: A MAN has died after a Sydney-bound passenger train collided with a ute between Moree and Narrabri.

The Moree to Sydney Xplorer service was stopped less than a hour into its trip when it hit a ute at a rail crossing near Millie Road in Bellata.

At About 8.40am emergency services were called to the scene 50 kilometres north of Narrabri after the southbound XPT struck a Holden Rodeo at the crossing in Bellata.

The 64-year-old male driver of the ute died at the scene.


There were no reports of injuries on board the train, which was carrying 18 passengers and three crew.

The train was evacuated as police forensically examined the vehicles.

The passengers were put on buses from Bellata.

Passengers from Werris Creek onward were placed on buses for the rest of the journey to Sydney.

NSW cotton grower faces more charges over water pumped from Barwon river

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The New South Wales regulator has laid more charges against one of the state’s biggest cotton growers, Peter Harris, alleging that in August 2015 he extracted water from the Barwon river when the meters on his pumps weren’t working.

The documents filed in the land and environment court charge Harris with two counts of taking water when the metering equipment was not working, in contravention of the Water Management Act. The breach is alleged to have occurred between 6 and 8 August 2015 at a property called Mercadool near Walgett, and involves two separate pumps on the property.

Two types meters – one measuring the engine running time and the other measuring flow – were alleged to have been not working properly on both pumps.

This is the second round of charges brought against Harris since Four Corners first aired allegations that large irrigators were taking water illegally from the Barwon-Darling and the NSW government had turned a blind eye. An independent inquiry by Ken Matthews was scathing of the NSW government and recommended immediate changes to the enforcement function, which has now been taken over by the Natural Resources Access regulator.

NSW towns including Dubbo and Tamworth face water emergency within months

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Towns in western and central New South Wales, including Dubbo, Nyngan, Cobar, Walgett and Tamworth, are facing a crisis in their water supplies within a few months unless it rains, prompting emergency planning by water authorities.

And on properties throughout the Murray-Darling basin, irrigators are bracing for their water entitlements to be reduced to around 10% of their usual allocations, which will severely constrain agricultural production.

A week before the election, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority issued a “sobering assessment” of the outlook for the Murray Darling river system in the communique from its monthly meeting.

“Since July 2018, inflows to the River Murray System have remained in the driest 7% of records, the head of River Management,” the executive director, Andrew Reynolds, told the board.


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