ANTI-coal seam gas groups have hit back at claims the majority of people in the Narrabri Shire support Santos’ operations.
The Narrabri Chamber of Commerce told The Leader on Monday the “vast majority” of the shire was pro-Santos.
However, Lock The Gate and People For The Plains said their research showed the opposite.
People For The Plains spokeswoman Sarah Ciesiolka said they had conducted door-to-door community surveys.
Of those asked, 96 per cent of people were opposed to coal seam gas (CSG).
“The surveys have conclusively demonstrated Santos has no social licence to operate here,” Ms Ciesiolka said.
“Despite what Santos, Yes2Gas and the Narrabri Chamber of Commerce would like people to believe, there is wide-scale community rejection of the CSG industry in North West NSW, and Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project in particular.”
Lock The Gate national coordinator Phil Laird said his organisation’s surveys produced similar results.
He said 86 per cent of people surveyed in the state electorates of Tamworth and Barwon were concerned about CSG.
“Based on these polls and surveys it is clear the overwhelming majority of people in North West NSW are concerned about CSG’s impact to water supplies and productive farmland,” Mr Laird said.
“This is not a fact-free zone. These polls speak for themselves. It’s no wonder there is ongoing protest out at the Santos site.”
The groups also rejected the claim by the Narrabri Gas Project it was only an issue for Narrabri locals.
“Santos is telling the local community it is only focused on its Narrabri Gas Project, yet, at the same time, it is mapping ... seven prospective gasfields across our extremely valuable and productive agricultural land of the North West,” Ms Ciesiolka said.
“That makes it very clear their long-term intention for our region is expansion.
“It is therefore disingenuous to claim this is a matter for Narrabri only.
“As a local farmer and business person, I welcome those from across the
broader region and beyond, who have come to stand side by side with local people to defend their land and water resources from the toxic and unsustainable CSG industry.”