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Snail decision a sad day in West Coast history

Snail decision a sad day in West Coast history

For immediate release

Sunday 17 December 2006

The West Coast branch of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society is saddened by an Environment Court decision allowing Solid Energy to continue its destruction of Powelliphanta "Augustus" habitat.

"It's unreasonable, in this day and age, to give coal mining an exemption from the country's environmental laws," said West Coast Forest and Bird spokesperson Dr Brian Anderson. "We're calling on the government to change the law so that coal mining licence holders have to meet the same environmental standards as everyone else."

The Environment Court ruled on Friday that state-owned miner Solid Energy was putting Powelliphanta "Augustus" at risk of extinction and that the company's actions would have breached the Resource Management Act, but that the court had no jurisdiction to stop the mining.

"We don't want the West Coast, which relies to such a large extent on tourism, to be known as the home of deliberate species extinction."


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