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Fed farmers' RMA 6-pack warm and flat say Greens

20 November 2007

Fed farmers' RMA 6-pack warm and flat say Greens

"Federated Farmers president, Charlie Pedersen, needs to accept that the days of environmental plunder are over," Green Party Environment Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos says.

Nandor is responding to Federated Farmers' demand today for the Resource Management Act to be gutted, so that those farmers who choose to can pollute without penalty.

"Given the environmental improvements being made by many farmers, it's a bit stale for Charlie Pedersen to keep demanding environmental subsidies for agriculture.

"These latest attacks on the RMA are just another attempt to allow farmers to avoid paying the cost of their business, especially where they farm unsustainably. The 6-pack should be seen for what it is - old, stale beer.

"Charlie is saying that because farming earns lots of money, it should be exempt from paying for its environmental cost. That's rubbish.

"Federated Farmers cannot continue to expect a subsidy for farming from the environment - or in the case of greenhouse gases, directly from the taxpayer.

"Under their '6-pack' Federated Farmers want farmers to be 'compensated' for doing what every other business in New Zealand is expected to do as a matter of course - avoid and mitigate polluting the environment.

"The exemption from the Emissions Trading Scheme for agriculture until 2013 will see the taxpayer forking out $600 million dollars on their behalf, but this is not enough for the likes of Federated Farmers.

"Their proposed six-pack of changes to the RMA will mean that the taxpayer will continue to pay the price for industrial scale depletion of water resources and contamination of remaining water supplies.

"It's a shame that Federated Farmers won't speak for those farmers that have adopted environmental best practise, instead of always siding with polluters. Maybe they think that's how to boost their membership numbers, but they've clearly lost their fizz."

ENDS

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