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Call For Commonsense In Coromandel

Call For Commonsense In Coromandel

Friday 6 Aug 2004

Ken Shirley - Press Releases - Environment & Conservation

ACT New Zealand Environment and Conservation Spokesman Ken Shirley today called on the Labour Government to heed an Environment Court decision on mining in the Coromandel and lift the outright access ban imposed under the Crown Minerals Act.

"The Court's decision has overturned the Thames Coromandel District Council's plan, which effectively banned mining as an activity. The Resource Management Act was intended to be enabling and effects-based, rather than to have sweeping prohibitions on particular activities without evaluating any adverse environmental impact," Mr Shirley said.

"Modern underground mining techniques enable the extraction of precious minerals with minimal adverse environmental impact. Over $10 billion of mineral wealth is known to be accessible in the Coromandel. As a country, we simply cannot afford to turn our back on this resource for no good reason.

"In 1997 the National Government - supported by Labour - imposed a blanket ban on access to minerals on DOC land in the Coromandel. There was no valid justification for this ban but, rather, the two main parties were engaged in a bidding war to court the Green vote.

"I note that Jim Anderton's Economic Development Ministry has welcomed the Environment Court's decision. But, now that mining can proceed as an activity, Mr Anderton must tackle the Conservation Minister and Prime Minister to overturn the access bans imposed by Government under the Crown Minerals Act.

"This will be a test for Mr Anderton's determination and sincerity," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

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