Farmers in northwest NSW have enjoyed a legal victory, with
energy giant Santos being forced to hand over water
monitoring data by the end of next month.
Farming group Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord Inc (MGPA) in
May took legal action to gain access to the information.
The action followed the contamination of freshwater bores on
the property of a farmer, whose land adjoins a site used for
exploratory CSG drilling, in the Pilliga Forest, near
The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) of NSW said he was
advised by Santos in 2012 that the bore water was unfit for
drinking and domestic use.
Another bore, closer to the CSG site, has also shown effects
of possible contamination.
Santos agreed in the NSW Land and Environment Court on Monday
to provide the data.
"Santos now has until 31 October 2014 to comply with the
court order to provide the requested data and documents
relevant to potential groundwater contamination in and around
the property," EDO NSW principal solicitor Sue Higginson
Santos has big plans for its $1.2 billion Narrabri gas
project, which it says could provide half of NSW's gas needs.
A Santos spokeswoman said the company was confident there was
no connection between the bacteria in Mr Pickard's bore and
Santos would provide the required documents to the EDO by the
end of next month, she said.
"At all times, Santos has acted in good faith with the
information requested by the EDO," the spokeswoman said.