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Govt. scraps RMA improvements

Gavan Herlihy
Opposition Agriculture Spokesperson

29 March 2000

Govt. scraps RMA improvements

Farmers will be dismayed that the new Government is refusing to back changes to the Resource Management Act that would've improved the way it operates and cut down on the cost of compliance, National's Agriculture spokesperson Gavan Herlihy said today.

"Farmers the length and breadth of the country have long called for changes to the RMA.

"National had proposed a range of improvements to the Act - but the new Government has turned its back on them.

"Farmers had welcomed the moves introduced by the National, such as contestable consent processing, the ability of applicants to have their consent heard by a Commissioner and for consents to go directly to the Environment Court.

"The new Environment Minister Marian Hobbs has today rejected these amendments to the Act.

"I find it totally frustrating that the Minister, even before the Select Committee has heard submissions, has already decided the outcome of the Select Committee process. It is a flagrant abuse of the Parliamentary process.

"This move by the Minister for the Environment comes hard on the heels of re-nationalisation of ACC and the introduction of the Employment Relations Bill.

"Shelving the improvements to the operation of the RMA is another example of this Government's total lack of understanding of what's needed for a profitable agriculture sector."

Ends


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