Lobbyists have fracking in sights


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Don't Frack the Bay organiser Paul Bailey is mobilising opposition to Marauder Resources East Coast's search for oil west and north of Napier and Hastings.

The lobby group hopes to set up a Lock the Gates group in Sherenden following a meeting at the Sherenden Hall tonight and Bay View on Thursday.

Dannevirke farmers Jim Kerr and Donald James will speak on their experience with TAG Oil and Apache Corporation's requests for access to conduct seismic surveys.

"We want to educate the landowners as to what to expect and how to deal with them," Bailey said.

"If land owners don't want an oil or gas industry in the district they can just not sign the access agreement."

He said that under the Crown Minerals Act companies with exploration permits had a legal right to force access.

"But that would be a politically naive move for them to make."

He said when he rang some Sherenden residents to inform them of tonight's meeting they were "totally unaware a permit had ben issued for the district".

"They were very keen to come along so I am hopeful for a good turnout."

He said Don't Frack the Bay was planning a public rally for when Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce makes public presentations to Hawke's Bay Regional Council about the East Coast Oil & Gas Development Study.

"We don't believe the community wants to have an oil and gas industry in Hawke's Bay so obviously we need to voice our displeasure."

Marauder's permit area also incudes Bay View, where Don't Frack the Bay plan another meeting in King George Hall on Thursday night.

Marauder plans to conduct seismic surveys from November this year.

TAG Oil, acting alone after partner Apache pulled out last year, has been granted two resource consents to drill an exploratory well east of Dannevirke. TAG did not apply for consent to frack.

Last week the Taranaki Regional Council released results on an independent groundwater monitoring programme at two of TAG's sites in the Ngaere area.

"There was no evidence of effects from hydraulic fracturing or other hydrocarbon exploration and extraction activities, upon shallow groundwater or surface water in the vicinity," the report said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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