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Santos smackdown: NSW Government applauded for tough comments on gas giant

Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on the NSW Government to stand firm in the face of relentless bullying from gas giant Santos as the company desperately tries to bypass scrutiny of its divisive and unnecessary Narrabri coal seam gas project.

Santos’ political campaign appears to be failing to win favour with the NSW Government, after NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro stated he wouldn’t “be pushed around” by the gas mining giant.

LTGA spokesperson Georgina Woods said Mr Barilaro’s comments that any delays Santos was experiencing were of the company’s own making were spot on. 

"The NSW government has been endlessly patient with Santos," she said. 

"Santos has been given numerous opportunities over the years to comply with the reasonable parameters laid down by authorities, and failed.

"We are grateful to the Deputy Premier and the Planning Minister for indicating that they will uphold the standards of NSW's environmental laws, which are applied to every major resource project in this state without exception.”

The comments follow a period of intense campaigning from Santos, including comments made by the company’s chief executive Kevin Gallagher at a recent Credit Suisse Australia Energy Conference in Sydney which suggested the NSW Government had been holding back the Narrabri project. 

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Ms Woods said.

“Santos company has ignored key requests from state and local agencies that would have allowed the Department of Planning to complete its assessment of the project.

“Santos has failed to comply with the NSW assessment process. It has twice refused reasonable requests for more information from the Department of Planning and Environment, the EPA, Narrabri Council, and the Rural Fire Service.

“It has refused an RFS request to not operate flares in the flammable Pilliga forest on extreme fire danger days, and refused the EPA’s request to assess the capacity of landfill facilities to accommodate their huge volumes of CSG waste.

“The NSW Government also gave Santos a 12 month timeline to fast-track its controversial coal seam gasfield five years ago, but Santos failed to submit its environmental assessment on time and has failed to meet the standards of NSW environmental assessments ever since.

“Clearly, this big gas bully cannot be trusted with water, the environment, and the livelihoods of people who depend on agriculture in the North West.”

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