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Minister denies enviro threat in export deal

Minister denies enviro threat in export deal article image
Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson has emphatically denied that the recent $50 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal with China is a threat to the environment. The Gorgon LNG project, off the coast of Western Australia near Barrow Island in the state's north, is yet to be developed, but has received initial environmental approval. "A hell of a lot of work has been done environmentally and from a development perspective to get the project to this point," said Ferguson. "There is no way the environment is at risk." He did add that the environmental considerations are for Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett to preside over: "It is an entirely separate process ... He will make a decision in due course." The products of the Gorgon LNG project have already been sold to a number of countries including China and India, sparking fears that any environmental assessment will be clouded by money, which Garrett denied: "I am under no pressure whatsoever in relation to this project other than to do my job as a regulator properly." Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert said a number of endangered species - some which are extinct on mainland Australia - live on Barrow Island.

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