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Santos accused of misleading advertising: Complaint made to ACCC and Ad Standards over domestic gas use claims

Climate communications group Comms Declare and grassroots campaigners Lock the Gate Alliance have complained to the corporate watchdog over a Santos ad placed in a newspaper near its proposed Narrabri gas project.

The ad (image attached), printed in the Quirindi Advocate on March 20 this year, claims “The Santos Narrabri Gas Project is essential to deliver critical gas supply to the east coast market” and that it is “Good for keeping the lights on”.

However, the complaint (available here) to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Ad Standards alleges the ad was misleading because the development may not go ahead and, if it did, gas from the project would be unlikely to be used to generate household electricity.

The ad appeared two weeks after a Federal Court decision put the contentious project in doubt when it found the Native Title Tribunal hadn’t adequately considered the impacts of climate change on the Gomeroi Traditional Owners.

Belinda Noble, Founder of Comms Declare said: “Not content with trying to buy support by splashing cash on sports and sponsorships in the region, Santos is now pretending its fossil gas development is an essential public service.

“Its claim ignores the fact that in the past 12 months, NSW used gas for only 2% of its electricity generation, that we already use ten times more renewables for electricity than gas, and that gas use is rapidly declining.”

Lock the Gate spokesperson and Mullaley landholder Margaret Fleck said: “Landholders are under enough stress already, without being led up the garden path by propaganda.  People need to make business decisions and personal decisions which must be based on fact, not false statements.

“High quality agricultural land like that in the Liverpool Plains must not be destroyed for the sake of a polluting gas pipeline that, contrary to Santos’ claims, won’t make a lick of difference to how the average NSW household is powered

“It’s long past time for Santos to walk away from the Narrabri Gas Project.” 


About the Narrabri Gas Project

The proposed coal seam gas project is located across the Pilliga Forest and prime farmland near Narrabri, NSW, and is opposed by Traditional Owners and farmers.

Santos is also planning the Hunter Gas Pipeline to transport gas from the proposed project to Newcastle.

Santos recently renewed exploratory drilling for coal seam gas near Gunnedah, and reactivated two nearby pilot wells.


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