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A great Xmas present for Otago environment

Otago regional councillor Michael Laws is lauding today’s decision to refuse the Queenstown Lakes District Council a consent to discharge wastewater into the rivers of Central Otago as “absolutely the right decision, and a great Christmas present for the Central Otago and Lakes environment.”


Prior to the most recent local body elections, Cr Laws voiced strong opposition to the proposed consent and lodged a personal submission against the proposal.


“ It just seemed an obscenity that our environment would be legally
polluted because a council had not got its infrastructure up to scratch.
The QLDC consent was all about legitimising its past errors, and
Future inaction, by giving itself 35 years to have more sewage “accidents” and
escape prosecution. Negligence and neglect are not accidents.”


Cr Laws said that it would have been “morally impossible to impose stricter environmental standards upon other water users in the region, whilst allowing a local body to escape penalty for any pollution that it caused.”

“ Today’s verdict sends a very strong message to territorial authorities that
they will be held to the same standards as anybody else. That’s no bad thing.
Polluting our relatively pristine lakes and rivers must never be legitimised.”

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