By Lloyd Burr
The Christchurch City Council has declared their city a ‘fracking-free zone’ in a unanimous vote this afternoon.
Fracking, linked to causing earthquakes in the UK and USA, is an oil and gas extraction practise where chemicals under high pressure are pumped into the ground to fracture rock and release gas and oil.
The practise has come under fire from environmental groups and is currently the focus of an inquiry by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
All members of the City Council voted in favour of banning the process in Christchurch after a recommendation from the Spreydon-Heathcote community board.
Mayor Bob Parker says the vote takes the Council’s call for a nation-wide moratorium a step further.
“It is a very strong sign from the Council that we do not want fracking taking place in this city.
“We hope that the strong stand we are taking is picked up by councils in other areas,” he says.
The Green Party has applauded the unanimous vote, calling it a significant step in momentum against the drilling practise.
Green MP Gareth Hughes says the anti-fracking movement could be today’s version of the nuclear-free movement.
“If the Government won't act, then towns and cities across New Zealand going frack-free will send a strong message to central Government.”
Mr Hughes says the Government needs to listen to the people of the earthquake-ravaged city.
“The Government should listen to the people of Christchurch and declare a moratorium immediately on any new fracking wells.
“New Zealand is on the cusp of a massive expansion of fracking and it would be prudent to wait until the Commissioner’s investigation is complete before allowing mining companies to proceed with the controversial drilling process,” he says.
source: newshub archive