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MP holds West Coast's future in his vote

MP holds West Coast's future in his vote

West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor holds the future of sustainable forestry on the Coast in his vote, National Environment spokesperson Richard Worth said.

Mr Worth was commenting following yesterday's meeting of the Local Government and Environment select committee on the Forests (West Coast Accord) Bill.

"If Mr O'Connor chose to vote with the Opposition members on the committee, the committee could recommend that the Bill not proceed.

"Anyone listening to the submissions from the Coast couldn't be anything but concerned about the impact of the Bill on the West Coast communities.

"The $120 million Government 'bribe' for the West Coast will do little to help the individuals and companies who will sustain substantial losses and in some cases, their livelihoods.

"Timberlands are world leaders in developing methods that protect forests of high conservation values yet enable sustainable management of forest resources. Decisions on environmental issues must have a sound science base and not be founded on rhetoric.

"I call on Mr O'Connor to be true to the people he was elected to represent and vote down the Bill at the select committee stage. He should stand and be counted with the opposition members. The question of whether he will accept this challenge will come down to where his loyalty lies - with his party or his electorate," Mr Worth said.

Ends

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