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Rate rebates should pay for toxic costs

RAM media release 4.11.04

Rate rebates & government funds should pay for toxic costs

"RAM calls on the Minister for the Environment, Marion Hobbs, to front up and give Auckland local Councils the necessary funds to investigate suspect chemically contaminated sites?" says Elaine West of RAM - Resident Action Movement.

"In sharp contradiction to Auckland City's Mayor, we believe that it does not fall on individual property owners to pay to test for inherited chemical toxins. Government has taxpayer funds set aside for such tasks."

"In addition, the councils of Rodney District, Waitakere City, North Shore City, Manuaku City, Franklin District and Papakura District should offer rates rebates to property owners who may need to test for soil contaminants through no fault of their own," proposed Ms West.

"Greater Auckland's councils should approach central Government for funds should decontamination of toxic sites be necessary."

"As a safeguard to human and environmental health, every local Council should be obliged to inform the affected community of potential soil contamination and ensure availability of Council administered testing programmes under rates rebates schemes."

"Further, if any Council enters suspect or actual property contamination in a LIM report without informing the affected property owner then such practice should be viewed as being improper."

"As part of our investigations into the matter, we would like to hear from property owners across the greater Auckland region who think they have toxic soil conditions because of previous chemical spraying of horticultural land," said Ms West.

ENDS

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