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Minister's Skewed View Of West Coast

Minister's Skewed View Of West Coast

Tuesday 8 Jun 2004

Ken Shirley - Press Releases - Environment & Conservation

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Conservation Spokesman Ken Shirley today accused Conservation Minister Chris Carter of looking through the wrong end of the telescope when it comes to the West Coast.

"While industries reliant on the conservation estate are important to the West Coast, a more vibrant economy would be possible with a less strident approach to access and utilisation of natural resources within the conservation estate occupying 82 percent of West Coast territory," Mr Shirley said.

"Minister Carter foolishly declined the proposal to upgrade the Arnold River power scheme at Dobson. This scheme would have made the West Coast self-sufficient in electricity, obviating the need for a major transmission line upgrade through the national park and enhancing amenity values and tourism appeal.

"Equally the Labour Government's reneging on the West Coast Accord has closed the sustainable forest management regime. Sustainable forest management can be a tourism attraction in itself, along with woodcraft industries utilising high value speciality timbers.

"Shantytown is a classic example of gold mining activities being an integral part of tourism. Similarly, the coal workings at Denniston and Stockton plateaus - together with their rich histories - are potential tourist meccas.

"Mr Carter should lift his sights and - instead of smugly wallowing in the obvious appeal of conservation estate assets - should be looking at what might be with a less dogmatic, and less rigid, conservation management regime," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS


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