ANTI-coal seam gas activists have followed up on their promise to continue disrupting Santos activities in the Pilliga forest by staging a road blockade at the gates of the energy company’s Leewood wastewater treatment yesterday morning.
About 20 people prevented contractors from entering the site for two and a half hours.
Construction started at the site last week, despite the facility being at the centre of a court battle over the legality of its approval.
Wilalla farmer Alistair Donaldson took part in the protest and said he was “deeply concerned” construction was under way before the outcomes of the court case were determined. “If I was in court about the legality of the development application for my house, do you think I’d be allowed to keep building before the case was determined?” Mr Donaldson said.
“If the court finds that Leewood has not been properly assessed, Santos will have to go back to the drawing board in the assessment process and all the work currently under way will have been completed without valid approval.
“There’s double standards at play here and Santos should be required to press pause at least until it’s clear its approval is legal.”
Santos general manager of energy NSW, Peter Mitchley, said the protest activity at Leewood had no impact on Santos operations and the company had all approvals in place to undertake the work.
“The Leewood Phase 2 Project was approved following a rigorous and detailed assessment process which was carried out in accordance with the relevant regulatory guidelines.