'Risks' involved in exploration

By Lawrence Gullery

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Sarah Roberts farmer from Taranaki speaking at an anti fracking forum. Photo / Paul Taylor
Sarah Roberts farmer from Taranaki speaking at an anti fracking forum. Photo / Paul Taylor

Taranaki farmer and environmental campaigner Sarah Roberts is returning to Hawke's Bay to share her research and experiences dealing with the oil and gas industry.

The Taranaki Regional Council candidate will be among the guest speakers at a meeting organised by lobby group Don't Frack The Bay in Central Hawke's Bay on August 31.

Ms Roberts and her husband David run a family farm at Ngaere, next door to one of the Cheal oil well sites in Taranaki.

They now have a high media profile after speaking out about their trouble obtaining information and feedback on water quality issues after realising the controversial fracking method was being used for oil and gas exploration on their backyard.

Don't Frack the Bay spokesperson Filipa Hope said the group was committed to helping inform landowners and the community of their basic rights when it came to oil and gas exploration and Mrs Roberts' story would provide some insight into the industry in Taranaki.

Ms Hope said people continued to be shocked and surprised at news they were living in areas where the government had issues gas and oil exploration permits without consulting the public.

She said critical questions needed answering for the public and councils to understand the risk involved with the oil and gas exploration activity.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council candidate and well-known anti-fracking spokesperson, Paul Bailey of Napier will also speak at the CHB meeting.

In particular, he will cover his research on the economic implications of oil and gas exploration for the East Coast.

Ms Hope would also speak on issues such as drilling near fault lines or aquifers, which were issues she felt had not been addressed in the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's interim report on fracking released in June 2012.The meeting will be held at Otane Hall, Higginson St, Saturday August 31, at 7pm.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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