Milford Dart Tunnel – Hooray! for the right decision for the right reasons
17th July 2013
Trampers and mountaineers praise Minister Nick Smith for his decision to decline the application to build a tunnel from the Route Burn to the Hollyford Valley.
“Dr Smith has made the right decision and, very, very importantly, for the right reasons”, says FMC President Robin McNeill.
“Aside from the terrible environmental impacts the tunnel would have created, we were always very concerned that fundamental planning documents seemed to have been ignored by allowing the process to go this far. Dr Smith has now clearly said that national park plans mean what they say and that you ignore them at your peril”.
Federated Mountain Clubs had pledged $15,000 to fight both the tunnel and the still to be decided monorail proposed to traverse the Snowdon Forest to Te Anau Downs. Mr McNeill is hoping that the minister will also decline the monorail, which FMC considers would create even worse environmental impacts than the tunnel. “The minister made the right call on the tunnel. We are confident that his same impartial approach will mean he will also make the right call for the monorail”, said Mr McNeill.
Mr McNeill also praised the efforts of the Glenorchy and Te Anau community as well as thanking the many trampers, mountaineers and general public who have supported FMC’s opposition to the proposals.
“To be honest, this fight has cost us an awful lot of time, effort and money, which we would much sooner have spent getting out tramping. Democracy is hard work sometimes, but it’s worth it”, he said.
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