Farmers and concerned citizens in north west NSW say the latest submission made by Santos about its controversial Narrabri CSG project is “arrogant” and “dangerous”, with the company refusing to provide information and commitments requested by the State Government and Narrabri Council.
Santos recently submitted a “Supplementary Response to Submissions” to 14 NSW Government agencies’ requests for information, data, and commitments from the gas company regarding the environmental risks of its proposed coal seam gas project.
The Narrabri CSG project is the largest and most objected to major resources project attempted in New South Wales.
In the submission, Santos refuses more than a dozen specific requests for information and commitments from the Environment Protection Authority, the Rural Fire Service, and Narrabri Council.
Local farmer Sally Hunter said, “Santos has refused the RFS’s request to not flare gas during catastrophic bushfire conditions. This shows an extraordinary and reckless disregard for the safety of our community.
“Santos has also refused the EPA’s request to assess the capacity of landfill facilities to accommodate huge volumes of salt waste with potentially high concentrations of metals and other contaminants.
“It has refused Narrabri Council’s request that it obtain environmental insurance for offsite and long-term environmental harms, despite this being a recommendation made by the Chief Scientist for all coal seam gas operations.
“This level of arrogance would be rejected totally if it came from a member of the community - the various authorities must not allow this corporation to get away with flaunting standard requirements and endangering locals’ lives.”
Mullaley farmer Margaret Fleck said, “Santos’ arrogant submission is treating the people of NSW and the agencies charged with protecting the environment, people and water resources with contempt.
“It is frankly dangerous that this company wants approval for a coal seam gasfield without respecting the Rural Fire Service advice on fire risk, without knowing how it will deal with large volumes of salt waste and without adequate insurance.
“We are calling on Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Deputy Premier John Barilaro to stop coal seam gas putting our water resources at risk and back the people of the north west when we tell Santos that its gasfield is too risky and not welcome in our region.”
The Supplementary Response to Submissions is available here: https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/10716