Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The people win on mining

It's official: the government has backed down completely on mining our national parks. Not only will they not remove any areas from Schedule 4 - they will also amend the Act to automatically add areas to Schedule 4 when they are designated as national parks, reserves etc. We won!

Thanks to everyone who protested, everyone who emailed the Minister, everyone who signed a petition and everyone who made a submission. Your voices made a difference. If enough people scream loudly enough, the government has to listen. Remember that.

Unfortunately, the government is still pressing ahead with its plans for joint approval of mining permits on the rest of the Conservation estate. That's a serious muddying of the waters which disregards the purpose for which the land is held - conservation. But the main threat - bulldozers in our national parks - is gone. And I think it will be a long time before National raises the issue again. We have put the fear of the people into them - and it feels good to have done so. Now, if only we can do the same on workers rights...