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O'Connor costing the West Coast thousands of jobs

Damien O'Connor is risking thousands of jobs on the West Coast, Alliance leader Jim Anderton said today.

Responding to Mr O'Connor's latest press release, Jim Anderton said the biggest problem facing the West Coast was its poor leadership and parliamentary representation.

'As one of the weakest backbenchers in Parliament, Damien O'Connor has to take personal responsibility for the way it's represented in Parliament. If he keeps confusing cutting down ancient trees with genuinely sustainable employment, the West Coast will miss out on the development it needs and thousands of jobs will be lost.

'It's too important to the Coast to allow that to happen.

'Genuinely sustainable industries include high quality education, developing the Coast's tourism potential, agriculture, horticulture, diversification of the timber industry.

'Why is it that Damien O'Connor has spent far more time advocating chopping down ancient trees than defending the jobs of Coast fishers who can't afford!
their own quota?

'I want to see genuine new technology industries like Tait electronics, employing thousands of people and exporting, like Tait's, $150 million a year. Those exports could be from centres like Greymouth, Westport and Hokitika. There is no reason why the Coast can't have two or three of those types of firms.

'The future of the Coast is not in chopping down ancient trees. It is in sustainable hi-paid, high-quality, high-skilled jobs with a permanent future,' Jim Anderton said.
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