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Santos chief executive David Knox says key independent Tony Windsor’s call for a moratorium on coal seam gas does not make any sense.
Windsor’s New England electorate in NSW is the target of CSG exploration, and he says CSG developments should be halted until scientific studies determine the impact of the industry.
Earlier in the week Windsor said he would not support the mining tax unless the Government issued tougher rules on CSG.
He demanded $200 million to $400 million of the MRRT’s takings be spent each year on CSG assessments.
The Australian reported today that Knox said a moratorium was “just not possible” because international gas supply contracts had already been signed.
He said Windsor’s calls were particularly puzzling because CSG was not a new industry in Australia.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” he said.
“I’m not sure what his point is, because this is not a new industry.”
Knox said CSG was very tightly regulated and the Santos expansions in Queensland had “been one of the most assessed projects on the planet”.
“We have a very strong regulatory climate and we’re performing inside those regulations and we will continue to do so,” he said.
Windsor says the impact of CSG developments on water, the environment, and farmland need to be better understood before the industry expands.
He has also told all mining representatives to “get stuffed” until they fix the controversy over the CSG industry.
Windsor’s advocacy for farmers came under fire this week after reports surfaced he had sold his farm to Whitehaven Coal last year for $4.625 million.
The land is slated to be torn up and used to expand the Werris Creek Mine.