Santos has had extensive and ongoing dealings with Tony Pickard, both directly and indirectly in his capacity as a community representative on the Narrabri Community Consultative Committee.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that there is any connection between Santos’ operations and the bacteria identified in Mr Pickard’s bore. The closest well and pond is located approximately 1.6 km from Mr Pickard’s property.

In March 2012, regional baseline testing conducted by Santos of Mr Pickard’s bore indicated that it had elevated levels of bacteria. Santos notified Mr Pickard of these findings.

Subsequent review by an independent water scientist indicated that it was possible that the bore’s poor water quality was a result of faecal contamination. Santos notes that Mr Pickard has grazing animals, a disused collapsed bore and a septic tank system all in close proximity to his bore, which may be the source of the bacteria identified in his bore.

At all times Santos has acted transparently and in good faith to provide Mr Pickard with the information he has requested. This includes test results and samples.

Subsequent representations from the NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), acting on behalf of the Mullaley Pipeline Accord of which Mr Pickard is a member, requested further information with limited scientific basis and which bears no relevance to Mr Pickard’s concerns regarding the quality of his bore beyond the information that has already been supplied.

This issue has been extensively covered in local media over the past two years and was the subject of a story on 730 NSW last year.