Snap action at Santos South Australia HQ in solidarity with the Gomeroi people
By Extinction Rebellion Australia, on 14 July 2022
The Gomeroi people say GAMIL (no) to Santos' continued attempts at gas-fired dispossession.
XR SA rebels staged the action this week as Santos attempts to overturn Gomeroi Native Title and rush through the Narrabri Gas Project – a project backed by both Labor and the Liberals. The Gomeroi people have strongly resisted this project and XR stands with them. The snap action coincided with an action at Santos' Sydney office organised by School Strike 4 Climate and USyd Enviro Collective
As rebels were setting up in Flinders Street, Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher arrived and was rushed inside the building, assisted by a strong police presence at this action.
Activists at Santos' Sydney office in the action organised by School Strike 4 Climate and USyd Enviro Collective
Rebel Leena gave a stirring speech:
“We’re Extinction Rebellion in South Australia, and we’re here today in solidarity with the Gomeroi people who are resisting fracking and gas exploration on their land that we know as Narrabri and the Pilliga Forest.
“We’re also here because this is happening right after Australia’s climate election. The majority of Australians voted for real action on climate. The majority of Australians believe the science and the window (for action) is closing very very fast. The consensus internationally of climate and other scientists have told us that if we want to keep warming to under two degrees Celsius – we’re not there yet, we’re about 1.4 C in Australia – there can be no new coal, oil or gas projects.
And what is Santos doing? Santos is continuing to seek expansion of its coal projects and new ones. Right now in Sydney today a group of school and uni students and Gomeroi people are at Santos’ HQ in Sydney saying NO to new gas, NO MORE fracking, NO to ignoring the rights of First Nations Peoples to the integrity of their lands.
Getting the message across outside Santos' Sydney office
“This morning I looked at a chart showing the extent of Australian taxpayer’s funding that is going in fossil fuel subsidies. In 21-22 it was an eye-watering $11.6 billion. How many RATs tests, how much income support, how much public housing, how much habitat restoration would that buy?
“And then I clicked on the links to see how any of that could be linked to Santos here in South Australia. There are two really clear examples. Their proposed expansion of Beetaloo Basin mining, fracking in the Northern Territory, currently being opposed in the Northern Territory Supreme Court by pastoralists and indigenous peoples – that would see an increase of 13% in Australia’s carbon emissions in one year.
“The Australian subsidies linked to that project include in the Northern Territory $173 million for road construction to allow access to fracked gas. $173 million - unbelievable! How many outreach clinics for vulnerable people would that fund? And in South Australia (it doesn’t say where but I have a feeling it’s in the Port River, in my back yard) in South Australia, $19 million of Australian taxpayer’s money is being spent to upgrade a jetty that will be used (or currently is being used) by Santos.
Saying it with music at the Santos Sydney HQ
“So we’re here today to say NO MORE NEW GAS by Santos or anywhere else. NO MORE FAKERY with stories about sequestration of carbon emissions in the ground by carbon capture and storage. If you were serious about carbon capture and storage Santos, you’d redirect your whole business model to planting forests, and you’d be joining activists in stopping the removal of old growth forests in Tasmania, in Victoria and other places in Australia.
Leena directly addressed the Santos Board, and office staff in the Santos Building, as "smart people, people who want a future for their children and their grandchildren, people who no doubt enjoy nature". She pointed out that it's not too late for them to say no to gas, no to oil, and reorient to renewables. “
Finally, Leena asked the crowd to join in a chant for Aunty Dorothy and Uncle Matthew from the Gomeroi people:
“GAMIL MEANS NO! NO NEW GAS!”