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Is Govt reducing minimum lake levels?

Is Govt reducing minimum lake levels?

National is calling on Energy Minister Pete Hodgson to confirm that the Government is considering bringing legislation that will allow hydro lakes to be drained to new lows.

National Energy Spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says reports that the Government might legislate so that hydro lakes can be lowered is alarming and shows just how serious the power crisis is.

"If these reports are correct then the Minister has clearly not told the public yet just how very serious the situation is, and it brings into focus the stark reality of blackouts at the coldest part of winter.

"Current reports on lake levels are that they are only a few metres away from the current allowable minimum level.

"The Minister needs to quantify how soon it will be before we reach those levels and if he is going to drop the minimum with special legislation.

"The advertising campaign has started to encourage people to save power, but the public need to know more about this crisis than the advertising spin.

"If Mr Hodgson wants to go ahead with this legislation we would expect that he would also look at making the changes to the Resource Management Act that National has already suggested, to ensure that large new generation projects don't get unnecessarily held up by frivolous objection," Mr Brownlee said.

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