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National Backs Growth In Agriculture

25 July 2002

National Backs Growth In Agriculture

National’s position on irrigation is quite clear, but for the benefit of Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton, I will repeat it, says National’s Agriculture spokesperson Gavan Herlihy.

“National, unlike some parties, believes that agriculture is still the engine room of the New Zealand economy and the growth opportunities offered by future irrigation developments are obviously of major significance.

“If Jim Sutton bothered to read our Environment Policy he would see that to confront all soil and water challenges, National intends creating a $500 million Sustainability and Eco-Restoration Fund to promote sustainable land development over a ten year period.

“It is clearly wrong of Mr Sutton to say that $500million is being poured into irrigation.

“Under National, irrigation projects will be able to apply to SERF for assistance with capital costs where there is a defined environmental outcome.

“Where has Labour been on irrigation for the last two and a half years? At the last election, it said a “government guarantee” would be available, yet no such policy exists.

“A series of studies carried out on irrigation – at the cost of $188,000 - including the role of central and local government, should have been released months ago, but they’re being held until after the election. Interesting timing.” says Mr Herlihy.


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