Today’s reports that Santos will abandon plans to drill exploratory coal seam gas wells at Spring Ridge near Gunnedah until the Namoi water catchment study has been released is a massive win for the local community, said Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.
“The local community deserves congratulations for staring down coal seam gas operator Santos and putting a stop to exploratory drilling until more is known about its impact on the precious Namoi water catchment,” said Senator Rhiannon.
“Santos is facing a massive public backlash and the gutsy three week farmers’ blockade must have been the last straw.
“The National Party is in disarray on this issue, torn by its close relationship with the mining industry. MPs of all stripes in NSW will be under the spotlight to make their position clear on coal seam gas exploration before the Namoi water catchment study is completed in April.
“As a Greens MP in NSW parliament, I worked for many years to help support the fantastic work of locals such as Tim Duddy, Rosemary Nankivell and other members of Caroona Coal Action Group to protect the rich alluvial soils and precious water resources of the Liverpool Plains from mining and coal seam gas.
“Greens Senator and mining spokesperson Larissa Waters will continue to push in Federal parliament for a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration until there is scientific proof that coal seam gas is safe for our water, our health or our environment.
“Standing up to the state’s biggest coal seam gas company is no small feat and this win will give hope to communities throughout NSW struggling against the rapid and reckless expansion of coal seam gas and mining,” said Senator Rhiannon.