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Scrapping Bio-fuels Act costs New Zealanders jobs

12 December 2008 Media Statement

Scrapping Bio-fuels Act costs New Zealanders jobs

The scrapping of bio-fuels legislation by the National government has already cost New Zealand jobs and killed a fledgling industry as National prepare to ram it through Parliament, Labour MP David Parker said.

“National is putting political point scoring ahead of not just the environmental but also the economy and employment at a time when this country needs jobs.

“Today I have been contacted by Bio Diesel Oils NZ Ltd who have spent over $10 million on their new factory at Waharoa to produce 60 million litres per annum of biodiesel from tallow.

“Their East Tamaki facility is already operating and they planned to employ 48 people across two sites. I am told 75 –year-old Tom McNicholl, invested his family’s life savings and is now expected to lose virtually all of it.

“In addition the community will suffer the consequences of jobs lost, which comes on top of the scores of jobs already lost in the forestry industry from the suspension of the ETS.

“National’s move means the workers and investors are out of jobs and out of pocket. So much for going for growth,” Mr Parker said.

“National were handed a golden opportunity to enhance New Zealand’s economic independence by making the country less dependant on foreign oil while also improving the environment.

“Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee ludicrously claimed on radio this morning that he was doing the right thing for the environment because it could not be guaranteed that the imported biofuel was produced sustainably.

“Mr Brownlee should know that the Act contained provisions to ensure biofuel coming into the country was sustainably produced. Ironically National’s legislation makes it possible for unsustainable biofuels to be imported into New Zealand.

“The National government has been so busy ramming through legislation they haven’t bothered to do their homework on the economic, environmental or social impacts of what they are doing.

“To make matters even worse, National have broken their promise to give a tax break to biodiesel, showing again that they said one thing prior to the election but are doing another.

“Asking for a regulatory review or sending legislation to select committee would ensure the right decisions are being made for the right reasons and would be in the best interest of New Zealand.

“We will promote amendments to try and fix National’s mistakes, but sadly this government is not open to reason and seems determined to proceed come what may,” Mr Parker said

ENDS

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