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Imitation the sincerest form of flattery

24 September 2008 Media Statement

Imitation the sincerest form of flattery

The National Party's policy on forestry offsetting would cost taxpayers $600 million, but in all other respects is exactly the same as the current Government's, Forestry Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Jim Anderton said that for all the National Party's talk of change, it showed that actually the Government had the best policy and ideas, and the opposition had no choice but to copy them.

"There is only one difference from what's being done now and that's the promise of a forestry offset planting scheme. But it's quite clear that that is dependent on what it costs - and they don't say what the cost threshold will be.

"Well, I can help there. The Government has already assessed that - and it will cost all other taxpayers more than $600 million. That's why our Emissions Trading Scheme legislation allows for a forestry offset trading scheme when such schemes are recognised under the Kyoto Protocol rules. We're negotiating hard at international forums to achieve that recognition."

Jim Anderton said the opposition were full of hot air and bluster on forestry, but when push came to shove, they were unable to highlight anything they would do differently.

"This Labour-Progressive Government has worked hard, in partnership with the forestry industry, to facilitate industry development. More than $309 million has been spent since 2000 in doing this."


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