Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on the NSW Minns Government to scrap its Future of Gas Statement following revelations consultancy firm EY was quietly working with Santos before helping the then NSW Government with the policy.
Following its release, the Future of Gas Statement was used to justify the opening up of the Liverpool Plains agricultural district to gas exploration, with long dormant Santos tenements covering the region brought back to life.
Since then, Santos has renewed exploration for gas in the region, and been granted approval to reactivate four CSG wells near Gunnedah, known as the “Kahlua” wells.
The Future of Gas Statement also included demand modelling for domestic gas use in NSW.
Lock the Gate Alliance NSW Coordinator Nic Clyde said these revelations were an opportunity for the Minns Government to scrap the outdated Future of Gas policy document and start again.
“This calls into question the validity and key assumptions behind the former government’s policy on the future of gas in NSW,” he said.
“The NSW public needs our government to develop policy in the public interest, not the interests of gas companies. What these revelations indicate is a profound lack of imagination and objectivity in resources and climate change policy in NSW: if the answer is 'more gas' the wrong questions are being asked, of the wrong people.
“We’re confident that if the Minns Government scraps this document and starts again with independent analysis, it will come to the conclusion that we and many other communities throughout regional NSW came to a long time ago - that this state needs to rapidly phase out gas use and protect its citizens from damaging mining and climate change.”
Mullaley farmer Margaret Fleck called for all gas exploration and drilling in NSW to be immediately halted and an independent review into the Future of Gas statement to be conducted.
“Landholders want the Minns Government to halt all current exploration work by Santos in the Pilliga and on the Liverpool Plains. It’s clear the justification for this gas, as outlined in the Future of Gas statement, is extremely questionable," she said.
“This policy must be reviewed and revised. Gas exploration must stop while the future of gas in NSW is reconsidered. Regional communities must not suffer as a result of a possibly flawed pro-gas policy document.”