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PM Must Solve Impasse Between Ministers

PM Must Solve Impasse Between Ministers

Tuesday 17 Sep 2002 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation

ACT New Zealand Conservation and Energy spokesman Ken Shirley is calling on the Prime Minister to settle the impasse created by two of her Ministers.

"Energy Minister Pete Hodgson has rightly recognised the significance of Trust Power's Arnold River proposal for hydro electric power generation on the West Coast of the South Island.

"Meanwhile Conservation Minister Chris Carter is emphatically opposed to the scheme and his department is taking every opportunity to frustrate it.

"The Arnold River Scheme has the potential to generate 60 megawatts of power making the West Coast self-sufficient in electricity. This is at a time when the country needs an additional 120 megawatts of power each year to meet growing demand and when we know that our gas reserves from the Maui field are at the point of expiry.

"The Arnold River scheme promotes the principle of net conservation benefit with land swaps that will more than compensate for the small area of conservation land that is required for scheme.

"The Local Body Empowering Bill promoted by the Grey District Council is being thwarted by the Minister of Conservation and his overly zealous advisors.

"The country needs this scheme and the Department of Conservation needs to be sent the message that they can no longer hold the country to ransom with spurious arguments and inflexible dogma," Mr Shirley said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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