Support for Santos from the disrespectful and ill-informed new resources minister


Comments from new Resources Minister Madeleine King

about the destructive Pilliga de Santos gas field are appalling and show she has little respect for the ongoing Native Title Court process, say Gomeroi traditional owners, local farmers and their supporters.

Earlier this year, the traditional owners of Gomeroi voted 162 to 2 to oppose the gas fieldwhich would involve the drilling of 850 coal gas wells in and around the Pilliga Forest, considered sacred by the Gomeroi.

The court ruling has not yet been issued and Karra Kinchela, a traditional owner of Gomeroi from Narrabri, said Ms King’s comments in the media supporting the project were disrespectful.

“We respect the court process, we are patiently waiting, there has not been an outcome yet and Madeleine King should be respectful as well,” she said.

“What touches me the most is that if we had started the transition to renewable energy ten years ago, the Pilliga would not be in danger now. The government would not put our Pilliga, our climate and our water at risk.

“There has been resistance to the Santos project for over a decade, and that’s not going to change just because Ms King wants it to. She’s underestimating the resolve of the groups opposing the gas field if she thinks we’re just going to let Santos bulldoze the Pilliga.

Liverpool Plains farmer Scott McCalman, whose property is covered by a recently renewed coal gas exploration license owned by Santos, said Ms King’s comments were disappointing given that the new Albanian government had been elected with mandate to boost renewable energy.

“The government was elected because people want change, they want a commitment to tackle climate change and they want our energy grid to facilitate that change and not rely on coal gas. Drilling for gas and supporting the Santos project at Narrabri is extremely myopic,” he said.

“The Santos gas field would be a costly and environmentally damaging exercise and being years away from production it can play no role in the current energy crisis. Madeleine King need only look to Queensland where the land is collapsing, where there is groundwater drawdown and a huge unsolved salt waste problem, all thanks to coal gas.

“The Santos gas field will do nothing to solve the energy crisis. We have a transition to renewable energy and we need the federal government to stick with it. They can find smarter ways to solve short-term problems that don’t involve sacrificing our best farming country to companies like Santos.

“Our food security is crucial. Madeleine King’s support for the Santos project threatens that.

Lock the Gate Alliance national coordinator Georgina Woods said Santos and other gas companies have for years exploited the high gas prices and tight market they engineered to exert political pressure for gas fields. more damaging.

“Santos is the architect of the gas supply crisis we are facing,” she said.

“It is embarrassing for the new Labor government to have a minister duped by the gas industry’s self-serving campaign. Sacrificing the beautiful Pilliga to hundreds of gas wells will do nothing to reduce the high price of gas. What our country needs is a path to zero emissions and a government that puts people and the environment first.

“The last thing a new federal government should do is lock Australians into a future dependent on high petrol prices. The renewable energy revolution is well and truly underway. That’s where Madeleine King should focus his energy.

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.


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