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EPA really Govt bulldozer for prisons, motorways

EPA really Govt bulldozer for prisons, motorways

The new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appears to be a bulldozer to push through controversial Government projects with limited input from the affected communities, said the Green Party today.

A new Bill to create the Crown Entity was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

“We support the establishment of a body independent of the Government to provide technical expertise, national environmental standards and independent environmental monitoring,” said Green Party resource management spokesperson David Clendon.

“But the EPA at the moment is nothing more than an understaffed office in the Ministry for the Environment, and it’s already being used to ‘fast-track’ controversial projects.

“They’ve fast-tracked the Waterview Connection and the timeframes for submissions have been far too short.

“In the case of Transmission Gully, it’s being used to circumvent the Wellington Regional Freshwater Plan.

“Now we find out that they’re hoping to fast-track a private prison in South Auckland, which will have significant impact on the local community.

“Making rushed decisions with limited input from the people affected will result in poor outcomes,” said Mr Clendon.

“Private prisons and motorways seem to be the economic strategy of the John Key Government, and it paints a grim future.

“If we want a smart economy that delivers real prosperity to everyone, communities need to be involved in the decisions that affect them,” said Mr Clendon.

ENDS

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