Santos has bullied Narrabri Golf Club into cancelling a local meeting of farmers, conservationists and local business people who want the North West to remain gasfield free. With just two days’ notice, Narrabri Golf Club has cancelled a long-standing booking for a North West Alliance Conference to talk about local and regional concerns regarding the risks and damage from unconventional gas mining in the Pilliga and elsewhere in the North West.
Members of the North West Alliance understand that the reason for the booking being cancelled was pressure from Santos, who rang the club, threatening to refuse it sponsorship money if it allowed the meeting to proceed.
Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus and financial analysts Bruce Robertson are booked to attend the event, and organisers have been forced to find an alternative venue at short notice.
Member of the North West Alliance and Narrabri resident Rohan Boehm, who had planned to attend the meeting at the Golf Club said, “This is an extraordinary turn of events. Santos is bullying this community and trying to shut down questions and dissent, and that is frankly appalling.
“Santos have written down the value of their gas in the North West to zero. Their commitment to this region is measured in dollars only, but we value community, history and our rural way of life. We don’t want Santos inflaming division by bullying local clubs not to allow members of the community to hold meetings which is our democratic right.”
“We’re appealing to Santos to leave us in peace and stop driving these wedges into the community at Narrabri.”
“We also cannot help but wonder, what did Santos want to stop the community of Narrabri and the North West NSW region from hearing at this event?”
Senator Glenn Lazarus, who is considered the national champion for people affected by CSG mining, raised the issue with the Prime Minister last night at a crossbench dinner.
“I am absolutely disgusted to hear that Santos has bullied the Narrabri Golf Club into cancelling this important community event,” Senator Lazarus said today.
“I will be raising this matter with the Prime Minister.
“I want this issue fully investigated. This is why we need a national ICAC to deal with corruption and misconduct in our community.
“Resource companies have been getting away with bullying behaviour for too long and it is time something is done about it.
“It is time the Government stood up for the people of Australia instead of the interests of mining companies.”
The event, which will be open to the public to hear from Senator Glenn Lazarus from 10am -11am and continue to discuss internal planning matters for the Alliance after lunch will now go ahead at the Crossing Theatre, Tibereena St, Narrabri.