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save the Blue Tier

press release, 6 april, 2004

Minister Talks ‘Innovative Ideas’ But Clearfell First

Tourism Growth Acknowledged But ‘RFA’ Rules

The Friends of the Blue Tier were surprised to hear Minister Bryan Green say on morning radio this morning that he has been 'working with the community' over the Blue Tier as the Minister has never met with the Councillors of Break O'Day, the Friends of the Blue Tier or consulted with the general community over the future of the Blue Tier.

Friends of the Blue Tier spokesperson Lesley Nicklason said that the Minister was only seeing the Blue Tier through the blinkers of the RFA and not acknowledging the precious water resources, the bio-diversity, the cultural heritage and the tourism future of the Blue Tier.

'If Minister Green is genuine about working with the community regarding the Blue Tier then there is no reason for the government to deny a Public Land Use Inquiry, as requested by the community and the Break O'Day Council which would provide a formalized independent process for such consultations to continue,' Ms Nicklason said.

'Minister Green has turned his back on community aspirations for this area simply by stating that woodchipping the trees of the Anchor Road coupe is the only option available to him because of the RFA.'

'The RFA is only one part of the picture. This is an intact water catchment that is collecting and purifying water right now for the region.'

'It's also surprising that it is the Minister for Forests who is rejecting the request for a Public land Use Inquiry when the specific legislation states that it is the Minister for the Environment, Judy Jackson who is responsible.'

The State Public Land (Administration and Forests) Act 1991 states that it is the Minister for Environment who is responsible for administering Part 2 of the Act, which details the process for sending a reference for a public land inquiry to the Resource Management and Planning Commission.

'We are still waiting for a response from Minister Jackson, and we now call on her to explain whether she has relinquished her responsibilities and supports Minister Green’s statements which imply that the decision has been made for her.'

'The Public Land Use Inquiry option was the result of an extensive NRM special committee report and has been the official stance of the Break O'Day Council for over three months.'

For further information contact Lesley Nicklason 6373 6195 or 0400 557 418

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