Labour Party – Press Release/Statement:
Denniston deal a lost opportunity
Marie Davis – http://www.labour.org.nz/news/denniston-deal-a-lost-opportunity
The Government has missed an opportunity to allow conservation groups and the mining company Bathurst to reach a compromise over the Denniston Plateau by riding roughshod over the process, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.
“There was a real possibility of a win-win for both sides that would have seen mining go ahead while other areas were protected for conservation purposes. A compromise could have been reached but the Government has stepped in at the last minute and blown that out of the water.
“It is so desperate to get runs on the board after the Solid Energy shambles and the loss of hundreds of mining jobs that it has overridden the process.
“Labour wants to see an agreement reached where mining can go ahead, allowing for the creation of new jobs, but where precious land is also protected. While the compensation package from Bathurst is welcome, our laws and access to the conservation estate should never be dictated by money,” said Ruth Dyson.
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor says the mining industry needs security now more than ever but there is a real risk that this deal will create further legal action because it cuts across negotiations between the parties.
“The West Coast is crying out for jobs. But the last thing it needs is more uncertainty around the mining industry. People are already suffering because of the Government’s mismanagement of Solid Energy and the closure of Spring Creek.
“Coasters deserve better from the Government than a quick-fix deal that might open the door to further legal challenge,” said Damien O’Connor.
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