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Au Senate seeks action on peak oil – what about NZ

Australian Senate seeks action on peak oil – what about New Zealand?

Press Release from Russel Norman, Green Party Co-Leader

11th Sept 2006

Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman said that the acceptance by an Australian Senate committee that oil production will peak well before 2030 should be serving as a wakeup call to the New Zealand Government, especially in light of other evidence that it will peak even earlier.

Dr Norman was commenting on the release last week of an interim report by the Australian Senate’s rural, regional affairs and transport committee. The report predicted global oil production will peak before 2030, and then start declining, with major social and economic consequences.

“What the Senate report is saying is that the consequences are so serious, no responsible government can afford to sit on its hands until peak oil has become a reality before it decides what responses it should make,” says Dr. Norman, also the Greens Economics Spokespeson.

“The Senate report acknowledged that there is strong evidence that oil production will peak much sooner than 2030, and they acknowledged that there is strong evidence that it will peak even earlier.

“New Zealand, given its distance from its main markets and its heavy dependence on energy imports, stands to be even more affected than Australia by the projected decline in conventional oil production.

“The planning on alternatives to oil and natural gas has to begin now, and the Government needs to be showing leadership on all fronts. In a responsible fashion, it should be alerting the public to the problem. It should be launching a major drive to develop alternatives, invest in public transport, renewable electricity generation, change planning rules to reign in suburban sprawl, and much more.

"Such planning has to be an integral part of future-proofing New Zealand, and of ensuring our economy is sustainable, given the threats it will be facing from peak oil and climate change."

The Interim Senate report can be found here - http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/rrat_ctte/oil_supply/int_report/report.pdf

ENDS

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