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Leave It To The Experts, Jim!

PRESS RELEASE
Brian Connell, MP For Rakaia
Spokesperson for Forestry

28 January 2004

Leave it to the experts, Jim!

"Unlike this Government, National doesn't believe in telling industry professionals what to do," commented Brian Connell, National's Forestry spokesman. "National believes that the industry should make up their own minds and that the Government shouldn't stick their oar in!"

His comments followed a press release from Forestry Minister, Jim Sutton, which strongly hinted that Forestry companies should support the proposed commodity levy.

"Despite Jim Sutton's carefully drafted press release, it was a thinly-veiled directive to our forestry sector that they should accept the commodity levy. He should have left well enough alone and let them consider it at their own pace!"

"Before any agreement is reached in the industry on such a levy, all the players should be satisfied that there has been genuine and wide-spread consultation. If no clear majority can be reached, the levy should be rejected."

"National understands that the forestry sector has a better understanding of the levy and their circumstances generally," he added, "And we will respect and support whatever decision is reached by the industry."

"If a commodity levy is decided on, there should be clear lines of accountability and an audited set of accounts available on demand. Forestry companies need to be able to review on a regular basis whether they are getting value for money or not."

"In the meantime, let the timber industry make up their own mind about forestry matters. Their involvement in the field means that their decision will be better informed than Jim Sutton's. The last thing they need is over-enthusiastic advice!"

Ends


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