Santos’ donation of nearly $80,000 to the Liberal and National Coalition is deeply concerning given the recent gas announcement as part of the energy deal between NSW and the Federal Government, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.
The energy deal signed last week required NSW to find 70PJ of gas annually, almost exactly the amount that would be produced by Santos’ Narrabri CSG project if it was approved.
Santos also gave nearly $70,000 to the Federal Labor Party, according to donation records released today.
“Santos appears to have been hedging its political strategy, donating significant sums of money to both major parties in the lead up to last year’s Federal Election,” said Lock the Gate NSW coordinator Georgina Woods.
“What benefit does Santos see these donations as providing to their shareholders? The Government’s insistence that NSW find more gas as part of last week’s energy deal could be viewed as a return on that investment.
“This doesn’t pass the sniff test and underscores how mining money is compromising Australian politics.
“Santos’ Narrabri gasfield has the potential to create upheaval and groundwater impacts for the farmers and communities in the north west. Yet the Federal Governments is happy to accept Santos’ cash.
“Santos’ gasfield, if approved, would puncture a recharge aquifer for the Great Artesian Basin, putting water and livelihoods at risk. This type of donations undermine community confidence that impartial Government decisions can be made on this project."