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Rod Welcomes High Court Decision On Beech Scheme

March 29, 2000

Good news for West Coast today

A High Court decision to reject action by five South Island sawmilling companies was good news for the West Coast, Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said today.

The companies had tried to sue the Government for stopping the large-scale beech-felling scheme going ahead.

"Now we can move ahead," Mr Donald said. "The court case has tended to stand in the way of any serious consideration of positive and sustainable development for the Coast.

"The days of stripping the Coast's wealth, with profits going mostly to outsiders, are hopefully now over. We want to see local development, run mainly by locals and for local profit."

Instead proposals for use of the beech seemed to focus mostly on sending unprocessed timber outside the Coast, he said.

"The Green Party is proud to stand up and say that we have had a major impact in encouraging other political parties to become more focussed on the environment and on economic sustainability.

"Beech trees can be felled only once, but they and the birdlife they host can be used for hundreds of years as part of new eco-tourism schemes," Mr Donald said.

Rod Donald MP 04 4706660 025 507183

Paul Bensemann Press Secretary 021 214 2665

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