Coal seam gas company Santos is showing an advertisement on New South Wales television that has a farmer extolling the virtues of farmers and coal seam gas companies working together.
The problem is: the farmer, Warwick Moppett, is shown standing in fields of canola and cotton that do not belong to him.
Furthermore, neither of the cropping properties shown actually have coal seam gas wells on them and the landholders concerned have expressed their strong opposition to coal seam gas mining.
The whole deception was exposed yesterday in an article published by New Matilda.
It has been alleged that Santos would have had to trespass to obtain the footage without the knowledge or agreement of the landholders involvement.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said this was one more example of Santos attempting to mislead the public with their multi-million dollar TV campaign.
“The NSW public is being bombarded with ads designed to make people think coal seam gas and agriculture can happily co-exist but the claim is completely misleading.
“In fact, in order to try and pretend that coal seam gas and farming can co-exist on the Liverpool Plains, Santos had to secretly sneak on to land which has no gas wells in order to avoid landholders who are staunchly opposed to such mining.
“The Liverpool Plains is beautiful cropping country. The farmers who do farm this area do not want coal seam gas because they know what a massive intrusion it would be on their businesses and what an environmental risk the industry presents.
“Santos should be ashamed of themselves for attempting this deception. They have scraped the bottom of the barrel here and should now immediately withdraw the advertisement and apologise publicly to the farmers involved.
“They should also publicly apologise to cotton growers throughout NSW for suggesting that coal seam gas and cotton are happily co-existing when nothing could be further from the truth.”
The Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on Santos to withdraw the ad immediately. Failing that the Alliance will lodge a complaint with the regulator.