Liverpool Plains farmers are vowing to resist Santos’ intrusion into the food growing powerhouse every step of the way, after the oil and gas giant revealed new plans to conduct seismic testing and explore for gas in the region.
In a newspaper advertisement (available here), the company said it would conduct seismic testing in an area to the south west of Gunnedah in order to explore for gas. Santos neglected to state the country it is targeting for coal seam gas is on the Liverpool Plains, renowned as Australia’s foodbowl.
The move comes after the NSW Perrottet Government raised numerous Santos-owned or part owned “zombie” coal seam gas exploration licences from the dead, which collectively cover more than one million hectares across the Liverpool Plains and northwest.
It also comes after farmers won a long battle against coal mining company Shenhua, and then Deputy Premier John Barilaro told locals there would be no mining on the Liverpool Plains.
Mullaley cattle farmer Margaret Fleck, whose property is covered by PEL 12 said, “Santos’ attempts to expand its polluting gas operations in NSW are a farmers’ worst nightmare.
“We’ve seen how coal seam gas has expanded rapidly in southern and inland Queensland, causing land to subside and water bores to run dry.
“Santos and the Perrottet Government appear hell-bent on inflicting the same devastation on the precious farming country of the Liverpool Plains and northwest.
“We are utterly reliant on groundwater here - any gas mining that drains the aquifer beneath us threatens our very ability to produce food and fibre for Australians.
“Santos’ attempts to carve up the Liverpool Plains for unconventional gas will be met with fierce resistance from landholders. Santos will never build gasfields on the Liverpool Plains.”