Huge community rally protests Santos’ CSG operation in the Pilliga calling on the company to withdraw

Over 300 people have defied a police roadblock to protest the construction of Santos’ controversial coal seam gas waste water treatment facility. The protest is calling on Santos to pull out of unconventional gas in North West NSW two days after Santos wrote down its assets in the region to zero.

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On Friday, Santos released its full year results, announcing a $2.7 billion loss and writing down its Gunnedah Basin assets to zero. Santos also reclassified its Gunnedah Basin reserves from ‘probable’ to ‘contingent.’

Three hundred people have this morning gathered to protest at Santos’ construction site in the Pilliga, calling on the company to pull out of their unconventional gas projects in the region.

Sally Hunter from Harparary is at the protest and said, “The gas beneath us is now worth nothing to Santos, but for all of us, the Pilliga, the farmland of the North West and the groundwater of the Great Artesian Basin are priceless.

“We’ve got businesses, farms and lives to live out here. We’re here today to tell Santos to do the right thing by the community and withdraw from all unconventional gas in the New South Wales North West.”

David Quince, a farmer from the Liverpool Plains, said, “With Santos posting a $2.7 billion loss last year, the business case for unconventional gas in eastern Australia is looking as risky and dangerous as its environmental and social impacts.”

The construction of Santos’ Leewood coal seam gas waste water treatment facility has been plagued by protests for the last eight weeks, with local farmers and Traditional Owners joined by people from as far afield as Adelaide and North Queensland to support the protests.

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A local community group, People for the Plains is current taking court action against the Government’s approval of the facility under gas exploration regulation on the grounds that it should have required a full environmental assessment and development consent. But neither Santos nor the Government has taken any action to halt construction until the case is heard in April.

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