Santos welcomes the independent Planning Assessment Commission's rigorous assessment and subsequent approval of our applications to continue with our exploration program in and around the Pilliga.
The PAC’s decision regarding the Bibblewindi and Dewhurst applications is consistent with the Department of Planning’s detailed assessment of the applications, concluding that any potential impacts can be managed.
The PAC determined that the groundwater modelling provided by Santos for the proposed activities is both suitable, adequate and additional modelling for these activities is not required. This view is supported by the NSW Office of Water. The determination report that was prepared and issued by the PAC explains this (see pages 5 and 6).
The scale of the approved works is relatively small and involves the drilling of a small number of wells in an area where exploration activities are already occurring.
Santos will recommence drilling when a drill rig can be secured and mobilised and the revised drilling program has been finalised. We will continue to keep the community updated on all planned activities.