Fears over gas pipeline plans

METGASCO'S Lions Way pipeline could face scrutiny from the United Nations with the proposed route going through a World Heritage listed rainforest.

The pipeline would take gas through the Border Ranges and the heritage listed Gondwana rainforests, if the route along the Mount Lindsay Highway is approved.

However, anti coal seam gas campaigner Leah Hobbs said she had been in contact with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Centre Director Kishore Rao, who stated the route through a World Heritage area was of great concern .

"Mr Rao advised me that UNESCO knew nothing of the Lions Way pipeline proposal and he asked me to send information about the project so they can take the matter up with the Australian government," she said.

Lock the Gate Ipswich spokeswoman Cassie McMahon said she was disappointed the Federal Government had not informed UNESCO of the development.

"Under the World Heritage Convention it is obliged to inform UNESCO about any activity which may impact on listed areas - obviously the planned pipeline would have an impact," she said.

Ms McMahon said the group had made the Prime Minister aware of the pipeline but was disappointed with her claims the pipeline was not a federal responsibility.

"The Ipswich Region of Lock the Gate presented a letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, via Mayor Paul Pisasale, at a breakfast during her visit to Ipswich in July.

"The Prime Minister stated that the Lions Way pipeline was a State Government responsibility, which it is not."

The Gondwana rainforests are the most extensive subtropical rainforests in the world and are clustered along the Queensland-NSW border.

The Queensland and NSW sections of the rainforests were listed on the World Heritage list in 1986 and 1994 respectively.

The proposed pipeline will begin between Casino and Kyogle in NSW, run over the Border Ranges and through the Scenic Rim to the power station located at Swanbank outside of Ipswich.

Metgasco did not return the QT's calls for comment.



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