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Get On With Minerals Decision

The Government talks a lot about regional development and scientific research but is doing nothing when it comes to the crunch, Opposition Energy spokesperson Pansy Wong said today.

She was responding to Paul Swain's decision not to fund a proposal for the electromagnetic mapping of underground minerals in the Otago region until a minerals strategy was developed.

"The Government's hallmark is conducting reviews, summits, inquiries and talking about developing strategies. The Minister must front up with answers about the timetable and information he needs for developing the strategy.

"The technology is already in use overseas and has the potential to create an extra 8000 regional jobs and a boost of $1 billion in annual turnover for the minerals sector. It could also reduce New Zealand's dependence on imported raw materials and ensure that our strict environmental standards are applied to the extraction of the minerals we use.

"It is time the Government made a few decisions to back up all their big talk about regional development," Mrs Wong said.

Ends

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