Supporters of Santos’ Narrabri coal seam gas project have coalesced into a community group, ‘Yes 2 Gas from the Pilliga.’
An email from a Yes 2 Gas spokesperson was tabled at Tuesday night’s Narrabri Chamber of Commerce meeting advising of the new body’s aims and asking that the email be circulated to chamber members.
“We represent the views of a large cross section of residents, businesspeople and farmers from the district who want to be heard in support of the Narrabri gas project” Yes 2 Gas spokesperson Mrs Louise Tout told The Courier.
“We believe it’s time the silent majority was given a voice.
“All we seem to hear is the strident minority, along with the imported greenies, making all sorts of claims.
“The activists give the impression that the Narrabri community is opposed to Santos and the coal seam gas industry.
“In fact, the opposite is true.
“What we see is a fantastic opportunity for an industry in Narrabri district which is not only a windfall for the local community but strategically vital for our state.
“Already we are seeing many new jobs, local businesses, clubs and charities being supported by Santos even in its exploratory phase.
“The Santos project can supply half the gas needed in NSW – and it will be coming from Pilliga scrub in our shire.”
Mrs Tout said the aim of Yes 2 Gas was to be a catalyst for support for the Narrabri CSG project.
“I am prepared to stand my ground and speak up for CSG from the Pilliga scrub.
“I know many who support this initiative and have offered their time and are prepared to chip in” Mrs Tout said in her email to the chamber.
“People are concerned about being harassed by the anti gas activists so I have set up a secure email address and I am happy that people can remain anonymous if they wish.
“We do not intend to form a committee, but I am willing to take the ‘Yes 2 gas’ message forward on behalf of anyone who wants a voice in this debate.
“I am a young working mother and I want what is best for the whole community not just a group of retirees who have had their turn and want to block the next good thing.
“The anti gas people are getting away with telling blatant lies and saying things that are just plain wrong.
“For example, I read about the court case decision in the US which found that a movie which showed a garden hose being lit as gas flowed out with the water was ‘concocted….to provide a deceptive video calculated to make people think their water was capable of burning’ and that the water pipe was purposely connected to a household gas line.
“I have spoken with local people about CSG and generally they are for it – yet the anti gas people would have you believe virtually everyone is against it.”
Chamber of Commerce president, Mr Russell Stewart, said the meeting agreed the email from Yes 2 Gas would be circulated to members, as requested by Mrs Tout.
“However, the Chamber is a business support organisation and is not engaged in the pro and anti debate” Mr Stewart said at the meeting.
The Chamber has embarked on a survey to identify the current and potential impacts on business as the Narrabri gas project proceeds.