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Minister's Position Indefensible

Minister's Position Indefensible

Thursday 3 Jul 2003 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today said that Pete Hodgson's refusal, as Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, to front up to farmers illustrated the total indefensibility of his position.

"To add insult to injury, the only two meetings to be held in the South Island are at 9:45am - when virtually all farmers will be busy feeding stock, and none would want to travel on icy roads in the early morning," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Clearly, these meeting times have been designed to ensure minimal attendance of angry farmers. This is called `consultation'.

"The Minister must explain why he is calling a tax `research'. He knows he cannot place a full blown carbon tax on agriculture `debits' without allowing farmers retention of their carbon credits.

"The Government has essentially stolen farmers' credits to offset the emissions by other industries. Personally, I would welcome the opportunity to account for my carbon credits. At $25 per tonne, I probably wouldn't have to work again as I would de-stock my farm and live off the credits - but then what would happen to our export industry if most farmers followed suit?

"I congratulate farmers for saying enough is enough," Mr Eckhoff said.


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