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Forest & Bird has presented a petition at Parliament, requesting the House ensure a select committee has the opportunity to consider the final list of projects for the Fast-track Approvals Bill prior to the bill being reported back to Parliament.  

The petition also urges the committee to call for public submissions. 

Forest & Bird Group Manager Richard Capie will present the petition to MP Rachel Brooking at 11am on Wednesday 26 June, on Parliament’s steps, for consideration by the Petitions Committee. 

Both Mr Capie and Hon. Brooking will be available for questions after the petition is presented. 

The Fast-track Approvals Bill includes a schedule for a list of projects for immediate transfer to the Fast Track consents panel and ministerial decision making. But this part of the draft legislation sits empty and Forest & Bird has been calling for the list to be released.  

“It’s vital that Parliament and the public can scrutinise these projects before they get added to the Fast-track Approvals Bill. These projects will have massive implications for people, their communities and the wider environment and once added to the bill they will almost certainly be approved in spite of their impacts,” says Mr Capie. 

“Given the override of planning and environmental laws in the Bill, Parliament deserves to know whether the projects they are being asked to vote on stack up socially, economically and environmentally. Parliament also deserves to know whether the projects being put forward were previously rejected by the EPA, the courts or local councils and if so why.” 

Earlier in the year, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop refused to even release the list of companies and organisations he had written to inviting them to apply for approval under the Bill. 

Forest & Bird complained to the Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier who sent a provisional opinion saying there were no grounds to withhold the information. The Government released the list, but not until a few hours before public submissions closed.  

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