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Build the dam!

Wednesday, 9 June 2004

Build the dam!

Government intransigence in relation to TrustPower’s proposed 63 megawatt dam at Dobson on the West Coast is unacceptable, according to United Future’s energy spokesperson Gordon Copeland.

“The first major reports on Dobson were produced in 2000. If approvals had been forthcoming then, the current crisis/blackouts facing the Upper South Island region could have been averted.

“Instead the government and their spin doctors have wasted this time dreaming up new ways to say “no”!

“During the past twelve months, both publicly and privately, I have been urging the government to remove that veto and, at the very least, allow the project to go to a hearing so that its merits can be objectively evaluated.”

Mr Copeland said “Minister of Conservation Chris Carter creates a false dichotomy between conservation values on the one hand and hydro electricity schemes on the other. The two are not incompatible.

“For example, if asked, it is likely TrustPower would be willing to purchase some equivalent stands of kahikatea for the conservation estate and fund a bird sanctuary in the area with a predator-proof fence. This would allow bird life to flourish: a net gain to conservation.

“At the same time electricity would be provided utilizing the perpetually renewable and entirely free energy source provided by the high rainfall on the West Coast.

“The new electricity generated would be of immense assistance to the economy of the West Coast and indeed to the whole of the northern part of the South Island.”


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