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Yet Another Flip-flop From the Government

Yet Another Flip-flop From the Government

Thursday 23rd Nov 2000 Owen Jennings Media Release -- Environment

It was left to Consumer Affairs Minister Phillida Bunkle, speaking in the House today, to correct the latest “foot in mouth” blunder from the Minister of the Environment, Marian Hobbs, said ACT Environment Spokesman Owen Jennings.

“Last night in the House during a debate on my Members Bill amending the Resource Management Act, Minister Hobbs claimed that landowners would not get any consideration from the Government. When it came to consulting landowners before designating protection areas on private land the Minister said farmers were no different than white-baiters, duck-shooters, or trout-fishermen. She said the Government would not pick favourites.

“The Minister failed to turn up in the House today to face the flack from Opposition parties incensed by her callous approach to hard working farming families whose livelihood is at risk, who pay a mortgage on their farm and who are expected to manage and care for protected areas with no compensation.

“Minister Bunkle, realising that Marian Hobbs had made yet another faux pas, admitted that landowners did need special consideration given the effect that creating significant natural areas had on their property.

“Farmers across the country will remain sceptical about the Government’s attitude toward business and particularly the approach taken on environmental issues, including the huge Bio-what programme. With a Minister who does not understand the issues and is willing to deny farmers the simple courtesy of consultation before putting parts of their property into permanent protection, the immediate future looks glum,” Mr Jennings said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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