INDEPENDENT NEWS

$120m Grant Has Not Saved a Single Beech Tree

Published: Fri 20 Jul 2001 08:54 AM
$120m Grant Has Not Saved a Single Beech Tree
Thursday, July 19 2001 Richard Prebble
Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation
It's crazy that the government's West Coast logging policy, which has cost the taxpayer $120 million, has apparently not saved a single native tree, ACT leader Richard Prebble says.
"We've now learned that after the government banned Timberlands West Coast from logging on government land, Kit Richards and other key Timberlands staff resigned to set up a new company - financed by some of the government's $120 million compensation grant.
"The new company is logging almost the same quantity of beech as Timberlands would have logged, but no law has been broken because all the trees have come from private land.
"The question ACT is now asking, is: 'wouldn't it have been more sensible to have allowed Timberlands to continue with scientific, sustainable logging, which was earning the taxpayer a moderate return, rather than splashing out $120 million and not saving a single native tree?'
"ACT is writing to the Prime Minister demanding an explanation. If there is one," Mr Prebble 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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