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Govt must front up with cash for SILNA owners

Eric Roy National Member of Parliament

22 October 2000

Govt must front up with cash for SILNA forest owners

Invercargill based National MP Eric Roy says the Government is making a laughing stock of itself over its lack of consistency regarding the issue of native logging.

Parliament last week passed legislation dissolving the West Coast Accord - a move which saw them paying $120 million to the region to compensate for the loss of logging revenue.

"Despite that they've left the people of Southland hanging over the question of unsustainable logging in SILNA forests.

"One of the Government's de-facto coalition partners, Green MP Nandor Tanczos, has gone on the record stating compensation should be paid to the landowners. I've been calling for that all year, but I don't want to get into a war over who said it first.

"What I do want to say is that I firmly agree with him, and that the people of Southland have a right to demand an answer to the obvious question - when will the Government do something about this glaring inequity?

"On the West Coast they decided to stop logging, and paid compensation. In Southland they've decided to walk away and disclaim responsibility, allowing unsustainable logging to continue.

"The Government doesn't seem to care about the people of the deep South. Its business forum in Auckland next week has completely ignored Southland businessmen and women. And when it comes to native logging the Government is taking an embarrassingly indefensible stance.

"The sealing of the West Coast deal in the last week should be a timely reminder. The Government has obligations to the people of Southland and they're not living up to them," Eric Roy said.

Ends




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