Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on NAB to explicitly rule out financing to open up new unconventional oil and gas basins across the country, after the bank’s newly released oil and gas lending policy was labelled greenwashing.
The policy leaves a giant loophole for the bank to fund projects it determines are needed for “national energy security”, and it also has a ‘cap’ that is greater than current lending - so the NAB policy announced today is actually to increase lending to oil and gas.
Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Carmel Flint called on NAB to explicitly rule out financing for opening up unconventional oil and gas basins at Narrabri in NSW, the Lake Eyre Basin in Queensland, the NT’s Beetaloo sub-basin, and WA’s Kimberley region.
“NAB’s new policy is so vague, we doubt it will do anything to reduce the bank’s willingness to finance polluting and destructive greenfield gas and oil developments.
“They have left a huge loophole which allows them to fund new (greenfield) developments if companies claim the oil and gas is needed to meet domestic energy needs, despite companies regularly claiming that whilst sending most gas offshore.
“That’s why we’re calling on NAB to explicitly rule out funding these four new basins.
“Australia is already awash with gas which we are shipping overseas - we don’t need any new development here, regardless of what gas companies claim it will be used for.”
Mullaley farmer Margaret Fleck called on NAB chief executive Ross McEwan to visit the Namoi region to witness first hand the level of community opposition to Santos’ Narrabri gasfield.
“NAB’s new oil and gas policy was likely created in the high rise boardrooms of Sydney and Melbourne, a long way from the communities who will suffer as a result of new oil and gasfields.
“The Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resources, Economics and Sciences demonstrated earlier this year how the impacts of climate change are costing the average farmer $30,000 a year. NAB’s new policy will likely lead to worsening climate impacts, and a greater hit to the average farmers’ hip pocket.
“I invite Mr McEwan to visit Narrabri and the surrounding region and meet with the farmers who fear Santos’ coal seam gasfield will drain and contaminate the groundwater they rely on, and to meet with the Traditional Owners who fear the damage the gasfield will inflict on the sacred Pilliga forest.
“Maybe then NAB’s oil and gas policy will be more than just greenwashing.”