The Toxic Greed of Australia’s Gas-Led Recovery

Image by Leonid Ikan, via Shutterstock ID: 215236882
Wednesday 3 November 2021
5.00 - 6.00pm (AEDT)

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Online (Zoom)


Greenpeace Australia Pacific

A panel of activists, community members and experts unravel the true cost of gas extraction in Australia.

NSW communities have for decades battled against an influx of large-scale resource extraction projects and fossil fuel industry adjacent developments. The 2020 formalisation of the Morrison government’s ‘gas-fired recovery plan’ has now solidified that the state and national reliance on gas will likely only increase. Communities at the heart of burgeoning conflict and contestation surrounding unconventional gas extraction face potential environmental and economic insecurity and the threat to their very way of life.

This panel discussion will highlight the risks and burdens of a Gas-Led Recovery in regional NSW. Examining the policy and social impacts of this decision, and of the current Australian trajectory more broadly, panellists will take a community centred approach to the debate. In particular, the discussion will emphasise the importance of having this crucial conversation now to capture the opportunities for community-led growth and change in ushering in a just energy transition.


Rosemary Nankivell is a farmer and grazier on the Liverpool Plains, producing Angus and F1 Wagyu cattle, as well as broad acre farming. Since 2008, Rosemary has been involved in fighting for the preservation of these plains for agriculture. They have been lucky in managing to stop BHP and more recently Shenhua from mining on the Plains but unfortunately, they are now fighting coal seam gas (CSG).

Susan Park (Chair) is a Professor of Global Governance at the University of Sydney. Susan researches how intergovernmental organisations become greener and more accountable and how accountability can be used to improve global environmental governance. Her research has focused on Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), including the World Bank, World Bank Group and African, Asian, Inter-American Development Banks and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

David Ritter is the Chief Executive Officer of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.  He has been with Greenpeace for nine years, campaigning to secure an earth capable of nurturing life in all its amazing diversity. Prior to joining Greenpeace, David worked as an academic and a lawyer in both commercial and native title practices. David is a widely published commentator on politics, law, history and current affairs. His most recent book is The Coal Truth: The Fight to Stop Adani, Defeat the Big Polluters and Reclaim our Democracy (UWA Publishing, 2018).

Madeline Taylor is a Senior Lecturer at Macquarie Law School and a Climate Councillor at the Climate Council. She specialises in Energy and Natural Resources Law and specifically examines the intersection between energy regulation, energy policy, land contestation and landholder rights. In particular, her research advances a novel examination of transitioning energy regulation and energy policy conflicts from a comparative and socio-legal perspective, including the strategic governance of energy and the fragmentation of ownership rights between the state, corporations and landholders. Her recent book entitled, Agricultural Land Use and Natural Gas Extraction Conflicts: A Global Socio-Legal Perspective, examines the socio-regulatory dimensions of coexistence between agricultural and onshore unconventional gas land uses in the jurisdictions with the highest concentration of proven unconventional gas reserves.

Gemma Viney is the Research Lead on Anti-Mining Community Movements at the Sydney Environment Institute and is currently completing a PhD in the Department of Government and International relations. Gemma was an Honours Research Fellow with the Sydney Environment Institute in 2017. She has a Bachelors degree in International and Global Studies from the University of Sydney, and a First-class Honours Degree in the Department of Government and International Relations.

This event is part of the Sydney Environment Institute’s Extraction Series that probes the use, impact and future of gas, coal and lead extraction in Australia at a critical point in our changing climate. This event series is part of the Unsettling Resources research project that investigates the dependence of our energy use and systems on conventional energy and the global shift to renewables. Professor Susan Park, Research Lead on the Unsettling Resources project, will open the event.