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Sutton steps in right direction

Brian Connell National Forestry Spokesperson

28 January 2004

Sutton steps in right direction

"Once again Jim Sutton is busy telling the forestry industry how to suck eggs," observes Brian Connell, MP for Rakaia and National's spokesman for Forestry.

"In his latest speech to the New Zealand Institute of Forestry, Jim successfully identifies many - but not all - of the challenges facing the industry. It appears to have escaped him that he is repeating truths which the forestry sector has been trying to bring to his attention for the last few years!" "It's great that he's finally beginning to listen, but that isn't enough. If this government wants to take the credit for growing the industry, they have to shoulder the blame for the woes currently harming it."

"Right now, the sector is in crisis. The commodity cycle is at its lowest ebb, the dollar is up, OSH costs are up, compliance costs are up, freight costs are up and power costs are skyrocketing."

"If the government is genuine about helping, it needs to act quickly and decisively to reduce the costs and red tape imposed at every turn. It should abandon the hypocritical claim that there was plenty of consultation regarding Kyoto and admit that Labour wanted it, so Labour got it despite widespread rejection from the forestry sector."

"If this government truly wants to be a partner, they must accept that a partnership implies fairness and equity. On this basis, the government should restore the sink credits they have stolen, allowing our forestry sector to reinvest them to improve our infrastructure and cope with the looming 'Wall of Wood'.

"That would do more for the industry than a hundred speeches from the Minister!"

Ends

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