Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

The Narrabri gas project has been given another green light, this time by Environment Minister Sussan Ley. But was there ever any doubt Ley would wave through the project, which has already been championed by her own government, including the energy minister and the prime minister? 

The project received the backing of the New South Wales Independent Planning Commission (ICP) last month. Political forces have made the project a sure thing from day one. To say no to it now would be to turn against the mythological status the government has bestowed upon gas, as Australia’s saviour fossil fuel.

Ley’s approval is another sign regulatory and ministerial assessments have become meaningless in the face of corporate interests, lobbying and intense political pressure.