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Environmental Defence Society Disappointed With Schedule 4 Mining Review

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Environmental Defence Society Disappointed With Schedule 4 Mining Review

The Environmental Defence Society says it's disappointed at the tone and content of the Schedule 4 review.

"We were expecting the government would have listened to the widespread public concern about removing some of our precious places from Schedule 4 protection," said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

"But instead they are proposing to remove protection from large parts of the Coromandel Peninsula, the Paparoa National Park and, inexplicably, Great Barrier Island.

"There are also proposals to involve the Minister of Energy and Resources in decisions to provide access to conservation land.

"Furthermore, it's clear this is just the beginning. We now have a 2-stage process with other precious areas including Stewart Island, Mt Aspiring and Kahurangi National Park firmly in the sights. If government-subsidised investigations confirm mineral deposits there, then those areas may be removed from Schedule 4 protection too.

"So overall the report makes for depressing reading and is likely to be subject to a great deal of debate over the next few months until the closing date for submissions on 4 May 2010.

"The only good news that I can see is that the report makes it clear that the underlying consent status will remain unchanged. This presumably means the RMA will not be further weakened.

"Any mining investor would need to look twice at the risks of not getting consent. Approvals for some of the Coromandel sites have been refused in the past.

"The 12,400 hectares to be added to Schedule 4 are presumably areas where there are no minerals so that is very much a Clayton's change.

"EDS will be carefully analysing the report and will post guidance to submitters on its website shortly.

"The report is of course a discussion paper with decisions to be made after public consultation. This is a good opportunity for people to have their say and I expect they will do so in their thousands," Mr Taylor concluded.

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