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Details Of Govt. Welfare To Coast Still Secret

Details Of Government Welfare To Coast Still Secret

The Government has today increased its welfare payment to the West Coast by $20 million but is still refusing to give any details around the $120 million payment.

ACT Forestry Spokesman Hon Ken Shirley today condemned the shroud of secrecy surrounding the details of the Government’s package to compensate the Coast for its decision to renege on the West Coast Forest Accord.

“Jim Anderton and Michael Cullen are trying to minimise scrutiny of their ‘guilt package’ until it is signed and sealed to prevent proper scrutiny of its real value to Coasters. A responsible Government that was really working in the best interests of the West Coast would have announced the detail of the package when the first $100 million figure was announced,” said Ken Shirley.

“Instead, because this issue has become such a disaster for the Government, Jim Anderton and Michael Cullen are trying to get the deal done with as little scrutiny as possible,” he said.

“What can West Coasters expect to get from the extra $20 million direct payment to the councils announced today? What, specifically, is the Government proposing the $100 million will be spent on under the Trust?” asked Ken Shirley.

“All we have at present from this Government is the scrapping of the sustainable beech logging scheme without putting up any evidence to support their case, Labour and the Alliance have taken Coasters jobs and are replacing those jobs and industry by putting the entire region on Government welfare without making public any detail of the package,” he said.

“The reason the Government is not shouting the details of the package from the rooftops is because it knows what it has done to the Coast is wrong and this package will haunt Labour and the West Coast for generations to come,” said Ken Shirley.

“I applaud the West Coast Mayors for working to get the very best deal for their people. I urge them to keep pushing the Government to honour remaining contracts,” said Hon Ken Shirley.


ENDS

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