Labour panicking over West Coast seatAssociate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control
In an amazing turn-about, Michael Cullen has admitted that the West Coast rimu contracts are enforceable," says Associate Food and Fibre Minister, David Carter.
"Today Labour's deputy leader admitted that Labour would renege on its bribe to the extreme green movement by honouring these contracts if elected government," says Mr Carter.
"Michael Cullen has at last accepted that these contracts, signed in good faith, are legally binding documents."
"This puts Labour in an unjustifiable position. What is the difference between the contracts signed for rimu and those for beech, when both contracts are for sustainably produced timber, and both were signed prior to the announcement of Labour's indigenous forestry policy?"
"It won't be long before Labour do another turn-about, and publicly admit the beech contracts are also enforceable."
"Labour must be really panicking about the prospect of losing the West Coast seat, to come out with this admission."
"Their proposed package to prop up the West Coast economy, released today, is nothing but empty rhetoric."
"Instead of trying to bribe West Coasters with promises of a West Coast Economic Development Trust, Labour should acknowledge it made the wrong value judgement when it announced it would stop sustainable logging of native forest on Crown-owned land.
"Even Michael Cullen has acknowledged the logging is sustainable. Labour's decision was about chasing green votes, hundreds of miles away from the Coast. Now Labour is now panicking over the West Coast seat. They know Damien O'Connor is in trouble.
"West Coasters have heard talk of economic development before. They know National's policy of sustainable harvesting of native forests creates real jobs and real prosperity," Mr Carter said.
Labour's local MP Damien O'Connor has said today he remains disappointed with the decision to halt native logging.