The Federal Court of Australia has issued an interim injunction preventing Santos from starting construction of the Barossa Gas Export Pipeline (GEP) until November 13, 2023, Santos said on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Santos said she would defend herself against summary actions brought by the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) on behalf of an indigenous group.
The Tiwi Islands indigenous group has claimed that the pipeline’s work will affect their cultural heritage, creating a new environmental risk.
Tiwi Traditional Owners have commissioned independent experts to prepare reports confirming that the pipeline, if installed at its current proposed location, would harm Sea Country and areas of cultural significance, according to the EDO website.
However, Santos said an independent expert concluded that no such underwater cultural heritage sites existed, after interviews with about 170 Tiwi people and extensive studies.
“The pipelaying vessel will remain in Darwin and no GEP-related pipelaying activities will take place during the summary proceedings,” Santos said.
Santos, who will continue to defend the case, added that the court will hold another hearing on November 13 to determine whether the injunction should be extended.
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