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Fracking report sends clear signal to Government



Energy and Climate Change Spokesperson
27 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Fracking report sends clear signal to Government

The concerns that many New Zealanders have about fracking are echoed in today’s interim report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, something the Government must take on board, Labour's Energy Spokesperson Moana Mackey says.

“The Commissioner has made a number of initial recommendations and observations that the Government needs to take very seriously.

“She also raises some important issues regarding the role of Government which will form the basis of the second phase of her investigation.

"There is no doubt that the oversight and regulation of fracking is complex and it’s up to the Government to ensure all parties are aware of their responsibilities.

"The question of whether the level of regulation is too light-handed is crucial. Public confidence in any regulatory regime is essential given the level of public concern about the risks associated with this practice.

“There is also the question of whether existing regulations are being adequately policed and enforced. We look forward to seeing the Commissioner’s recommendations in this area

"Labour is also concerned about the capacity within local and regional councils to process consent applications for fracking given the lack of experience and technical expertise available to them.

“No council should be forced into making decisions on whether fracking goes ahead and under what conditions unless it can be confident it has the evidence to do so.

"The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is to be congratulated for taking the public concern regarding fracking seriously when the Government failed to do so.

“Let’s hope the assurances from the Minister of Energy, Phil Heatley, that the Government will support any recommendations that the PCE puts forward, don’t turn into hollow promises,” Moana Mackey said.


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