Sydney Knitting Nannas and Friends rallied outside Santos’ Sydney office on Thursday as the company’s AGM was happening in Adelaide. We joined with Adelaide protesters in objecting to the Narrabri coal seam gas development in northwest NSW and the Barossa project in the Timor Sea.
Nannas were in fine voice singing all our favourite songs about Santos, coal seam gas and climate change. Special thanks to Patrick Harte for his songs, guitar and sound system.
Nic Clyde gave us a thorough walk-through of the horrors of Santos activities in NSW and the communities standing up to them.
The Narrabri Gas Project and its infrastructure threatens prime agricultural land on the Liverpool Plains as well as many people’s homes in the Hunter.
For 20 years the industry has assured governments they were close to finding a beneficial use for salt and natural toxins brought to the surface from the coal seams during gas extraction.
Queensland’s recent salt waste plan is to hold five million tons of this toxic salt waste in landfill within a plastic “lining”. Toxic salt waste is a major risk to land and environment – an unfair burden that will always be with us. In the Pilliga dumping 440,000 tonnes of salt into landfill seems to be the Santos plan too. Ignoring the warnings of independent scientists.
Coal Seam Gas can still be stopped in NSW
The Minns government has options to act for climate, culture and food security by considering how they can stop Santos in the North West.
The new Premier Chris Minns has said they won’t stand in the way of the Santos “Narrabri” gas project because it has approval. However, there is much more to the story of gas in the North West.
It’s true that the Narrabri Gas Project in the Pilliga was approved by the Independent Planning Commission, in spite of a wealth of evidence about the risks from hundreds of experts and community members.
The approval was conditional however, and some of the many conditions have not been met by Santos, including salt waste disposal and approval of the Lateral pipeline. The Gomeroi Traditional Owners’ appeal against the Native Title Tribunal’s dismissal of their objections has yet to be heard.
Santos wants to spread their toxic industry across the Liverpool Plains, our best food producing land. With the approval of the Coalition government Santos has started exploring for gas on the Plains.
These Santos projects are major issues for the future of NSW – we need the state government to act and not quietly roll over for Santos.
Today the Santos AGM was accessible only to shareholders attending the venue in Adelaide. Shareholders could not vote online or ask virtual questions at the AGM, an unusual move as most ASX100 companies now live stream their AGMs.
Did this impact the shareholder vote against Santos’ remuneration report on climate risk grounds? Santos recorded a ‘first strike’ against its remuneration report at its 2022 AGM. A second consecutive vote of 25 per cent or more against the remuneration report would have triggered a ‘spill motion’ for the board.
Santos are applying the same tactics to emissions as they have to salt to prolong gas extraction. CEO Kevin Gallagher is still talking up Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) but experts say it is simply not viable for large projects producing huge amounts of emissions.
Santos pixie dust will not distract us from the climate and environmental impacts of gas extraction.