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Fracking report should be implemented immediately

Moana Mackey
Environment Spokesperson

4 June 2014

Fracking report should be implemented immediately

Labour calls on the Government to immediately implement the findings of a new report in to fracking and the wider oil and gas industry, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey.

"The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report concludes that while oil and gas drilling can be done safely, the oversight and regulation of the activity is inadequate, inconsistently applied and has not kept pace with the rapid advances in industry and technology. This is in line with concerns Labour has been raising for some time.

"It also concludes that it is not credible to simply extrapolate the Taranaki experience to other regions which is always the Government's go-to position whenever anyone raises concerns about the industry. The differences between the East Coast and Taranaki mean that the industry will have a very different look on the east of the country.

"It is important we modernise our regulation of this industry to protect our environment, water aquifers and other industries that may be incompatible with a rapid local expansion in exploration. It makes sense to get ahead of the debate and make land use decisions that best serve the interests of each region.

"Labour urges the Government to move quickly to implement the six recommendations of the PCE. These recommendations would provide guidance through a national policy statement, ensure consistency in the rules and objectives of regional plans and local monitoring compliance, provide certainty around accident liability and ensure environmental protection.

"Too much is at risk if we don't get this right. The New Zealand public expect the best possible environmental safeguards. The recommendations of this very timely report should be implemented as a matter of priority.”

ENDS

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