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Dobson Dam should be built - United Future

Dobson Dam should be built - United Future

United Future MP's Gordon Copeland and Larry Baldock have returned from a visit to the West Coast convinced that the proposed Trustpower 60 megawatt hydro scheme at the Dobson Dam site near Greymouth should go ahead.

"The situation is clear cut," said Mr Copeland. "Currently the West Coast of the South Island with its massive potential for hydroelectricity actually imports a proportion of its power needs via some limited transmission lines through the Southern Alps.

"As a result electricity prices have more than tripled for a number of industrial users on the Coast. This situation will only worsen as new demand from dairying and mining comes on stream over the next two to three years.

"The Dobson scheme has the potential to meet that current shortfall and potential demand at a price which would be affordable and certain.

"To deny the Coast a new hydro scheme in these circumstances is essentially to abandon Coasters and their future to a cycle of poverty. No responsible government could allow that to happen.

The MP's said "The Greymouth community is almost completely (around 95%) in support of this scheme and they have generously offered to transfer to Department of Conservation ownership, by way of a land swap, the Mount Buckley stand of mature native bush if that is needed to allow the scheme to go ahead.

Meantime Larry Baldock says he's completely satisfied with the conversation aspects of the proposal.

"The Trustpower scheme will create a bird sanctuary free of predators on an island in the middle of the lake which will be created. This could be a fantastic asset for both the West Coast and the nation as a whole.

"Only 3% of the Card Creek ecological reserve will be flooded, some 500 hectares out of a total DOC estate of 1.7 million hectares.

"DOC claims that the regenerating kahikatea which will be lost is unique but that is not correct. We saw a video of other stands of valley floor kahikatea in close proximity."

The MP's believe this is a win-win situation and have pledged United Future's support to any Government moves to bring the scheme to fruition.

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