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Green Budget: Three Key Projects

Greens / Govt Agree To Work Together On Three Key Projects

Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today confirmed the Greens had agreed to continue working with the Government on three key projects the Greens had put forward for the Budget, with the aim of making announcements on them later this year.

The projects are the establishment of soil tests for the presence of dioxins in areas suspected of contamination, the creation of a national organics advisory service and the possible further development of the community internship scheme which Green MP Sue Bradford and Social Services Minister Steve Maharey launched last week.

“These are projects which are important to the Greens and, while the plans are not yet finalised, we are pleased to be working closely with the Government towards implementing them,” said Ms Fitzsimons.

Ms Fitzsimons said the three projects could probably be implemented for around $1.5 million.

Green Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said the Greens have taken an active role in issues surrounding chemical-related illnesses - in particular the very real possibility of serious dioxin contamination in areas like New Plymouth.

“We believe soil tests, in addition to the blood tests already agreed, are necessary to better understand what the problems are in that area and we are working towards making a joint announcement with the Government on this soon,” she said.

Sue Bradford will be working with Steve Maharey to monitor and consider the future of the community internship scheme which they both announced last week. Ms Bradford said there had already been a number of inquiries about the scheme.

“This scheme will enable individuals who wish to gain experience working in the community sector the opportunity to do so, while also allowing organisations to benefit from skills they would not previously have had access to,” said Ms Bradford.

Green Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said the establishment of the national organics advisory service would provide advice and information on growing and marketing to people wishing to start producing organic food or to switch to organic production.

“The organic sector has needed this service for some time and we are looking forward to announcing its creation,” said Ms Fitzsimons. “The Greens are really pleased to be working co-operatively with the Government on these measures.”

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