Media Release: EDS congratulates Minister of
Conservation on Milford – Dart tunnel
decision

The Environmental Defence Society
congratulates the Minister of Conservation, Hon Dr Nick
Smith, for refusing consent to the proposed Milford – Dart
tunnel project.

“This project would involve the
construction of an 11km tunnel under two National Parks with
portals at each end within the parks,” said EDS Chairman
Gary Taylor.

“The construction impacts would be
considerable even with every effort to mitigate them. It
would be akin to a mining operation during
construction.

“National Parks are our most highly
protected lands in the public estate. They are there for
their natural and intrinsic values. Commercial concessions
within National Parks must necessarily be low impact and
consistent with the purposes of the National Parks
Act.

“The National Parks Act 1980 requires national
parks to be preserved in perpetuity in their natural state.
This decision is consistent with that.

“Quite apart from
the impacts of the project, the idea of ramping up visitor
numbers to Milford is not a good idea. The location is
already subject to heavy tourist use and more people will
simply detract from the wilderness values that attract
people in the first place.

“We consider that approval of
the project would have been contrary to the National Parks
Act and unlawful. The Minister has done the right thing,”
Gary Taylor concluded.

ENDS

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