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Coast Tests Government “Good Faith” Commitment

The big test for the Government’s commitment to good faith bargaining is being played out on the West Coast, according to ACT Deputy Leader Hon Ken Shirley.

Ken Shirley today said Finance Minister Michael Cullen had made a public commitment to advocate on behalf of West Coasters.

“Both Michael Cullen and the Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton have indicated their support for the continued supply of rimu from sustainably managed Crown owned West Coast forests that have been specifically designated for the purpose of sustainable harvest in perpetuity to sustain jobs and wealth generation in the region,” he said.

“The offer of $120 million compensation together with assurance of the established ongoing rimu supply is a package likely to be accepted by West Coast mayors, albeit with some reluctance,” said Ken Shirley.

“The Greens are endeavouring to move the goalposts yet again and if Helen Clark is captured by their extremist policies then any good faith left between this Government and the West Coast community will be utterly destroyed,” said Ken Shirley.

ENDS

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