10 June, 2016

10,000 people ask Santos to ditch Narrabri CSG project

Farmers and environmentalists will hand deliver petitions carrying more than 10,000 signatures to Santos's Sydney office this morning, asking new chief executive Kevin Gallagher to drop the Narrabri Gas Project in the Pilliga Forest in north-west NSW.

The delegation will visit Santos as part of the weekly Friday protest vigil that has now been going on outside Santos’s office for five months.

Gunnedah councillor and farmer David Quince has travelled from his property in north-west NSW to help deliver the petitions.

“Santos has no social licence to operate in the Pilliga, on the Liverpool Plains or anywhere in NSW,” Mr Quince said. “This 10,000-strong petition is just one in a litany of examples demonstrating the broad opposition of the north-west NSW community and our supporters from across NSW.

“Santos’s plan for its 850-well coal seam gas field in the Pilliga is a Trojan horse to access the broad agricultural region of north-west NSW, and our farming community is determined to stop it.”

Wilderness Society Newcastle Campaign Manager Naomi Hodgson will also join the protest vigil and visited Santos’s office. “Despite the demonstrated opposition of the local landowners, Santos continues to press on with its Narrabri Gas Project,” Ms Hodgson said. “Recently we’ve seen it also plans to expand its exploration on to the fertile Liverpool Plains.

“Santos’s Narrabri Gas Project is a last ditch effort of a failing industry. The project has been valued at zero and it’s years behind schedule. The project is the final CSG proposal in NSW after local communities forced Metgasco and AGL out of the Northern Rivers and Gloucester. Santos is mistaken if it thinks it will successfully establish this risky industry in the biodiverse Pilliga or its surrounding productive farmland.”

NSW Nature Conservation Council Director Kate Smolski, who will also join the delegation, said: “Santos’s plans to industrialise eastern Australia’s largest temperate woodland threaten the endangered species that it harbours and the communities that depend on the groundwater that flows beneath. After so many community victories against the CSG industry in NSW the people are now united to stop this final threat.”

Organisers of the protest vigil say they will maintain their weekly presence until Santos leaves the Pilliga.

 

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