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Shirley welcomes decision to lift mining ban

Shirley welcomes decision to lift mining ban

Hon. Ken Shirley

Tuesday, 6 September 2005

Press Releases - Environment & Conservation


ACT Environment, Conservation and Energy spokesman Ken Shirley today welcomed the Environment Court's decision to overturn the ban on mining in the Coromandel.

"One of the basic principles of the RMA is that the law be 'effects-based' with each resource use proposal considered on its merits and approved, amended or declined appropriately.

"The outright activity ban by the Thames-Coromandel District Council followed the Labour Government's similar ban of all mining activities on conservation land in the Coromandel.

"This is an extremely foolish and narrow sighted approach that has more to do with political grandstanding than rational analysis. If a low impact mining proposal involving high value precious metals can be shown to be beneficial then such an activity should be approved with appropriate controls and safeguards imposed as conditions of approval.

"We could face the situation where an underground mining proposal might have an extremely limited impact on a very small area of land and as part of the proposal the developers might be prepared to purchase and swap a significant larger area of privately owned prime conservation land donating it to the conservation estate.

"This concept of net conservation benefit is core ACT policy and should be encouraged with win-win outcomes.

"It's been estimated that New Zealand has some $80 billion of mineral wealth that is substantially locked up under the public estate managed by the DoC. To deny ourselves access to this wealth is extreme folly and ultimately self defeating because it reduces our capacity to invest in environmental care," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

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