New CEO Kevin Gallagher faces community push on first day
Two women from Santos’ home state risk arrest and halt work
Two women from gas company Santos’ home state of South Australia have locked onto an excavtor and halted all construction work at the company’s controversial Leewood CSG wastewater treatment facility in North West NSW, on the first day at work for the company’s new CEO, Kevin Gallagher.
The women have taken action as part of a growing community campaign against the Leewood facility and the broader Narrabri Gas Project in North West NSW. Over the past month, 14 people have been arrested as part of the protests, with hundreds taking part.
Cyd Fenwick, 46 from the Adelaide Hills, said, “We grew up with the idea that Santos is a great South Australian company, but out here in the Pilliga, they’re damaging the Australia and their reputation, and they’ve got to be stopped.
“We want the new CEO of Santos, Kevin Gallagher to know that the Narrabri Gas Project in the Pilliga will be opposed at every turn. The project is a liability and Santos should cut its losses and get out before it loses out further.”
Kerri Tonkin, 47 from the Eyre Peninsula, said “I’m here for the water, this is not just a local issue, it affects us all. This 850 well coal seam gas project threatens the recharge function of the Great Artesian Basin and is an issue of national significance.”
“Santos is doing serious damage to its reputation by persisting with this trouble plagued project in the Pilliga. The project has a terrible environmental record and no social license with the community.”
The Leewood CSG facility is designed to treat up to 1 million litres of toxic CSG water per day and to irrigate crops on site with the treated waste. Already there have been over 20 spills and leaks of toxic CSG water during exploration alone.
The Leewood facility is the subject of a court case by local group People for the Plains that will question the legality of its approval and argue its assessment should involve a full Environmental Impact Statement and public consultation. A directions hearing will be held on Friday in Sydney.