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North West NSW Residents: Santos Response to EIS Submissions Weak, Inadequate

The Santos Response to Submissions for the Narrabri coal seam gasfield EIS fails to address the many problems that experts and community groups have raised, leaving major data gaps that increase environmental risks.

The report provides a detailed breakdown of the submissions, confirming that over 23,000 people made submissions, with 98% of submitters objecting to the project and only 1% supporting it.

Coonabarabran resident Jane Judd said, “This response from Santos is woefully inadequate, especially when it comes to water.

“They have point blank refused to conduct the extra baseline data collection on groundwater dependent ecosystems recommended by the Independent Expert Scientific Committee.

“What is the point of having an expert water group to review gas mining proposals if Santos is free to just ignore them? It’s just not good enough.

Rohan Boehm from Narrabri said, “Despite extensive submissions from the community calling for Santos to reveal exactly where they planned to place their gas wells, they have not done so.

“The community still has no way of knowing where the 850 gas wells and associated roads, pipelines, compressor stations and other infrastructure will be located – Santos are basically asking the government to give them a blank cheque.

“It’s clear from the overwhelming number of submissions objecting to this project, including two thirds of submitters from the Narrabri region, that this project should never be approved” he said.

Local ecologist David Paull said, “Santos have refused to conduct any further research on the Koala population in the project area, despite admitting that it is in severe decline.

“The Office of Environment and Heritage had acknowledged concerns about the Koala and referred to the usefulness of an additional expert report to assess potential impacts, but Santos didn’t deliver.

“The Narrabri Gas Project will do extensive damage to the Pilliga Forest, the largest temperate woodland left in eastern Australia, as well as clearing endangered ecosystems and putting unique threatened species like the Pilliga Mouse at risk” he said.

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