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Gosche Takes His Time Over Smoke

The announcement of a $150 fine for smoky vehicles is a symbolic gesture to camouflage inaction on implementing recommendations from the 1999 Vehicle Fleet Emissions Control Strategy, National's Transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon said today.

"The final report of the VFECS, released in July 1999, set out the measures the Government had agreed to implement. The 10-second rule was one. When the Minister took over in December 1999 the Ministry was working towards implementing the package of measures during the following year.

"But what happened to the 2000 time frame? The Minister should explain why this initiative wasn't implemented in 2000.

"National had decided to proceed with the recommendations to manage the impacts of vehicle emissions on local air quality in New Zealand. Why didn't Labour get on with it?

"Obviously implementing the actions just hasn't been a priority for the Minister. His announcement yesterday was a whitewash for inaction on the environmental impact of the effects of transport.

"And what has happened to the remaining recommendations? The Strategy made it clear that no single initiative would address the issue of air quality. It provided a selection of initiatives.

"The Minister alludes to policies that will be implemented over the next two years but avoids specifics. He should admit now that environmental issues are not a priority for him.

"Where are the Greens when you need them?" said Ms Vernon.


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