Govt im­pact ‘se­vere and detri­men­tal’

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

It seems that agri­cul­ture will be forced into the Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme at the be­hest of coali­tion part­ners.

I amurg­ing the Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter to en­sure this con­sul­ta­tion s car­ried out in a just and durable way, with no pre­con­ceived out­comes.

It is im­per­a­tive that New Zealand tran­si­tions to a low car­bon econ­omy in a sus­tain­able, man­aged ap­proach that won’t dam­age es­tab­lished com­mu­ni­ties and economies.

A long-awaited de­ci­sion by the Gov­ern­ment to cull cat­tle in­fected with the My­coplasma bo­vis dis­ease brought some wel­come re­lief to af­fected farm­ers, but I am­con­tin­u­ing to hear from farm­ers who are fight­ing for com­pen­sa­tion.

The Gov­ern­ment has been too slow to com­pen­sate farm­ers to date and my chal­lenge to the Min­is­ter and his of­fi­cials is be fair and fast with fu­ture com­pen­sa­tion claims.

This has been an in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult time for farm­ers while they have waited for crit­i­cal de­ci­sions to be made about man­ag­ing and con­trol­ling this dis­ease.

It will still be some time be­fore they can restart farm­ing again and my heart goes out to all of the farm­ing fam­i­lies in­volved.

Given these pres­sures be­ing ap­plied to the ru­ral sec­tor, I’ve also urged the Min­is­ter to sup­port ru­ral health ini­tia­tives like the Ru­ral Health Al­liance Aotearoa NZ.

It’s deeply dis­ap­point­ing that the RHAANZ has been de­clined Gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

In the past, Labour in par­tic­u­lar has been very vo­cal on the is­sue of men­tal health in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, and it’s so im­por­tant, now more than ever, that they speak up for those who speak up for our farm­ers.

The Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter has a farm­ing back­ground, and I’m calling on his good sense to en­sure our farm­ers are heard be­fore any fur­ther dam­age is done. Let­ters should not ex­ceed 250 words and must have a full name, ad­dress and phone num­ber. The news di­rec­tor re­serves the right to edit, abridge or with­hold any cor­re­spon­dence with­out ex­pla­na­tion. Let­ters may be re­ferred to oth­ers for right of re­ply. Email: mary-jo.tohill@stuff.co.nz

JOHN HAWKINS/STUFF

Hamish Walker is the MP for Clutha-South­land.

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