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Dark Day For Conservation In NZ

Dark Day For Conservation In NZ

The Government is eroding the conservation estate by allowing Australian owned Bathurst Resources Ltd access to conservation land to build open cast coal mine, the Green Party said today.

“Today is a dark day for conservation,” said Green Party mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

Ms Delahunty was responding to Conservation Minister Nick Smith’s decision to allow Australian owned Bathurst Resources Ltd to access conservation land on the Denniston Plateau to build an open cast coal mine.

“This decision is an erosion of the conservation estate. Nothing can make up for ripping open this rare and stunning landscape for coal mining,” said Ms Delahunty.
“Denniston Plateau is conservation land for a reason, its distinctive landscape and wildlife are worth protecting.

“The Government has been determined to make this project work from the outset, no matter what the environmental cost.

“Prime Minister John Key has publically backed Australian owned Bathurst Resources, opening their Wellington headquarters in 2012,” said Ms Delahunty.

Ms Delahunty said that this decision was made today to avoid public consultation. Changes to the Crown Minerals Act which come into effect tomorrow require public consultation for significant mining proposals on conservation land.

“New Zealanders love and want to protect our conservation land. In 2010, forty-thousand people marched down Queen Street to protect our conservation land from mining.

“The Government knows that New Zealanders want to protect this treasured place so they have denied the public an opportunity to have a say.

“This mine is not in the interests of New Zealanders. Bathurst’s planned open cast coal mine on conservation land will destroy habitat and increase carbon emissions while the profits go offshore.”

ENDS

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