Hunter Gas Pipeline (HGP) Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns the Hunter Gas Pipeline project?
The Hunter Gas Pipeline Project is owned by Hunter Gas Pipeline Pty Ltd.
What is the relationship between Hunter Gas Pipeline Pty Ltd and Jemena (SGSP (Australia) Assets Pty Ltd)?
Hunter Gas Pipeline Pty Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jemena in relation to construction and operational services.
Will HGP pay fair compensation?
Yes, landholders will be treated fairly in compensation dealings. Valuation of land will be undertaken by registered and independent valuers with knowledge of the land in a particular area. HGP will pay landowners reasonable expenses associated with obtaining their own professional valuation and legal advice associated with executing an easement contract/s.
If construction is endorsed by the HGP P/L board, Jemena will have a Land Liaison Representative working in the area who will contact all affected Landowner/holders. The Land Liaison Representative will discuss the project needs and negotiate final routes, easement and compensation with the Landowner/holder. We will use the services of a third party valuation firm to determine appropriate compensation offers to affected Landowner/holders in relation to the acquisition of the easement.
What is the width of the corridor?
The HGP will be constructed within a corridor of 30 metres. Additional work areas may be required to enable construction in some areas (such as major road crossings).
These temporary works areas will be identified during the property inspections and surveys to determine or validate the required construction methodologies.
Once the pipeline easement has been fully reinstated, the only visible infrastructure will be marker signs which provide a warning to earth moving machinery operators about excavation in the area. These marker signs are located at crossing points of all fence lines, watercourses, roads, powerlines and railway lines and at other locations so that they can be clearly seen.
Will all landholders be identified?
HGP will undertake property searches of all land titles which intersect the pipeline route. Contact will be made with all registered landholders intersected by the pipeline route.
Will roads be closed during construction?
HGP accepts that road access is important during construction. HGP will use construction techniques, such as underboring formed roads or constructing temporary slip lanes (adjacent to existing formed roads) to ensure roads remain trafficable.
Where necessary traffic controls will be used to ensure public safety.
Will blasting occur on the route?
HGP will undertake a constructability survey prior to construction. This survey will determine whether blasting of rock is necessary. It should be noted that blasting is a last resort on pipeline construction and that other techniques, such as rock sawing are preferred. Additionally, any blasts are designed to fracture rock without dislocation of the material. There is a difference between blasting for pipeline construction and mining: Mine blasts are designed to move significant rock overburden (often totalling in excess of 100,000m3 of material) to enable recovery of minerals, whereas pipeline construction blasting is smaller and designed to fracture but not to dislocate the rock to enable trenching.
Construction methodologies utilised for other local infrastructure does not provide any guidance on whether blasting will be required for a pipeline construction.
Who will undertake blasting activities?
Licensed specialist sub-contractors would be engaged to conduct any blasting activities.
Will explosives be stored on site?
No. Explosives would be transported to site only if required.
Are the noise and vibration limits on blasting?
Yes, HGP approval conditions specify compliance requirements for noise and vibration from blasting.
Will local traffic constraints affect construction transport?
Prior to construction, HGP will consult with local councils to determine the limitations of local roads and bridges. Where bridges and other road infrastructure is not suitable for the projected construction loads then alternate routes will be used. Additionally, road condition or pavement survey will be undertaken along local transport routes to build a baseline of information and determine whether the road network has deteriorated as a result of pipeline activities and the applicable degree of remediation.
Jemena also hold consultation sessions with the affected communities to seek their input on the project including transport routes etc. Project information is also published at the local council offices and in local media publications.
If at any time access needs to be interrupted advance notice will be provided and Jemena will take steps to minimize any inconvenience. If required, Jemena will have steel road plates on-site that can provide a safe vehicle crossing of an open trench etc.
Can emergency services access construction or nearby sites?
HGP will consult with Emergency Services in the area to discuss access, transport and management issues associated with the construction. The input of Emergency Services will be sought in the development of Emergency Response Plan and related management plans developed for use during construction and operation. HGP acknowledges that maintaining local access during construction is essential.
Has route selection considered avoiding areas of environmental significance?
Yes, HGP has used route planning to minimise disturbance to environmentally sensitive areas. Pipeline route planning incorporates assessment of environmental factors, sensitive receptors, existing infrastructure, topographical landscape and construction conditions, combining these into a route of least impact.
As the pipeline easement is further refined, HGP will continue to prioritise the avoidance of areas of environmental significance.
Are open trenches monitored to prevent wildlife entrapment?
Yes, it is standard practice to monitor any open trenches daily to recover and release trapped fauna. A variety of techniques are used to prevent harm to fauna being trapped during construction including the use of escape ramps to enable large fauna to escape, providing moistened bags, straw etc at regular intervals (typically 50 – 100m) to provide shelter to reptile species and small mammals. Certified fauna spotter/catchers inspect the open trench early each morning to recover fauna which are released.
Will rehabilitation replant vegetation?
Yes, it is standard practice in pipeline construction to rehabilitate using native species typically found in the local area.
Following construction, the temporary construction workspace is restored as close as possible to its original condition prior to construction and in a manner agreed with the landholder and in accordance with regulatory requirements.
Cleared vegetation on the easement can either be scarified or mulched and spread across the easement as appropriate and in a manner agreed with the landholder.
In open grazing lands a suitable improved pasture mix is typically used with a sterile cover crop to assist with pasture establishment. In cropping lands the restoration is dependent on seasonal and the surrounding cropping regimes.
In all instances, consultation with landholder is used to determine the most appropriate rehabilitation regime.
When is rehabilitation undertaken?
Restoration of the ROW commences as soon as the pipeline is buried. The area is recontoured and any slopes re-established. The topsoil is respread over the ROW. Depending on the rehabilitation plan for the site (e.g. native vegetation or improved pasture) seed, tubestock, hydromulches or similar are used. Generally a sterile cover crop is used to assist with managing issues such as weed germination or soil erosion. Rehabilitation is monitored over time to ensure the efficacy of the program and enable remediation as necessary. Landholders are consulted throughout the process.
How will fire risk be managed?
HGP has a strict “no burning” policy that will apply to the pipeline construction. Cleared vegetation will not be burnt. Cooking using open flames will not be permitted at any time.
An emergency response plan will be developed and provided for comment to emergency services prior to construction. This plan will consider the risk associated with local bushfire outbreaks or burnoffs or high-risk fire periods. The plan will apply to the construction areas, camps and laydown or equipment storage areas including workshops.
Smoking will not be permitted, except for designated smoking areas where fire can be managed. No smoking will be permitted in construction vehicles.
Breaches of the fire policies are regarded as disciplinary matters that may result in dismissal of the personnel involved.
Will gas be released from the pipe during operations?
No. It is not necessary to flare or vent the gas from the pipeline during normal pipeline operation.
Will construction proceed at night time?
Generally no, construction will be during hours permitted under the regulatory approvals and generally only during daylight hours. Certain construction operations (such as hydrotesting where a pipeline integrity test of 24 hour duration is conducted) will require limited night works, planned in consultation with potentially affected local residents, to minimise impact to them.
Where night works are necessary the customary practice for pipeline construction lighting is to minimise light spill beyond the immediate area and to minimise noise.
Will vehicle speeds be restricted?
Yes, speed restrictions are used along the ROW to reduce noise and dust from vehicles travelling along the ROW. These restrictions are enforced using electronic monitoring of construction and delivery vehicles, or IVMS (Intelligent Vehicle Monitoring Systems).
Will helicopter surveillance of the pipeline occur?
Following construction a number of pipeline monitoring and inspection techniques are used to check integrity of the pipeline and easement. These include electronic monitoring (such as pressure drop, voltage of cathodic protection), physical monitoring (driving along the easement, helicopter fly overs) or remote sensing. Of the monitoring techniques helicopter flyovers are infrequent for pipelines and conducted at higher altitude than powerline inspection/maintenance works.
Any helicopter surveillance will be carried out at an altitude that will not affect stock movements and landholders will be consulted first.
Have all geological and environmental surveys been completed?
No, HGP has a program of field work to support construction planning. Consultation with landholders will be undertaken prior to field inspections.
Will areas along the ROW, utilised for equipment storage and stockpiles have security lighting?
The use of security lighting will depend on security risks at the location.
How will HGP manage wild dogs?
A Pest Management Plan will be developed to manage the risk associated with pest species (including rodents, dogs, pigs etc). The Pest Management Plan will consider matters such as local baiting programs, reporting pest fauna sightings, food scraps and waste, and will operate in conjunction with the Waste Management Plan.
Construction crews and contractors will not be permitted to bring pets to the ROW, or construction camps.
How will waste be managed?
Waste management forms a significant component of site management and construction. HGP will engage a licensed waste management contractor. Management of this contract will include compliance with legislation regarding the transport, storage and disposal of waste.
Waste management is ongoing throughout the construction and operational aspects of the pipeline.
Will training be provided to construction crews regarding appropriate behaviour standards when working on properties?
Yes, all personnel who attend the site (including construction crews, visitors and contractors) will be required to complete a site induction. This induction will include compliance with environmental and site conditions, emergency reporting and response, driving standards, and behaviours, including engagement with landholders and the community.
Will HGP permit hunting and other activities?
No, Firearms and other hunting equipment will not be permitted at the camp or anywhere on the job. Bringing firearms to site will result in disciplinary action that could include immediate removal from site. Hunting, from any HGP site, during non-work periods will not be permitted.
Will alcohol be permitted at site?
HGP has a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy on construction and operational sites. Drug and alcohol testing is common on Australian oil, gas and mining sites. Persons found to be affected will be removed from site.