Santos accused of misleading advertising

By AdNews | 8 April 2024
Credit: Silvia Brazzoduro via Unsplash

Climate communications group Comms Declare and grassroots campaigners Lock the Gate Alliance have complained to the corporate watchdogs over an ad from energy company Santos placed in a newspaper near its proposed Narrabri gas project.

The ad, printed in the Quirindi Advocate on March 20, claims “The Santos Narrabri Gas Project is essential to deliver critical gas supply to the east coast market” and that it is “Good for keeping the lights on”.

However, the complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Ad Standards alleges the ad was misleading because the development may not go ahead and, if it did, gas from the project would be unlikely to be used to generate household electricity.

The ad appeared two weeks after a Federal Court decision put the contentious project in doubt when it found the Native Title Tribunal hadn’t adequately considered the impacts of climate change on the Gomeroi Traditional Owners.

Santos ad

Comms Declare founder Belinda Noble said Santos, not content with trying to buy support by splashing cash on sports and sponsorships in the region, is now pretending its fossil gas development is an essential public service.

“Its claim ignores the fact that in the past 12 months, NSW used gas for only 2% of its electricity generation, that we already use ten times more renewables for electricity than gas and that gas use is rapidly declining," Noble said.

Lock the Gate spokesperson and Mullaley landholder Margaret Fleck said landholders are under enough stress already, without being led up the garden path by propaganda.

"People need to make business decisions and personal decisions which must be based on fact, not false statements," Fleck said.

“High quality agricultural land like that in the Liverpool Plains must not be destroyed for the sake of a polluting gas pipeline that, contrary to Santos’ claims, won’t make a lick of difference to how the average NSW household is powered.

“It’s long past time for Santos to walk away from the Narrabri Gas Project.”


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