7 Feb 2010

Mackenzie Basin protection 'undermined by Govt'

3:00 pm on 7 February 2010

Conservation organisation Forest and Bird says the Government is interfering with Department of Conservation (DOC) attempts to protect the Mackenzie Basin.

The group says it has obtained documents under the Official Information Act that show the Government's new High Country policy is undermining DOC's ability to protect the area from intensive irrigation.

Forest and Bird spokesperson Kevin Hackwell says the Government has forced DOC to back down on plans to create a Mackenzie Basin drylands park.

He says the Mackenzie Basin desperately needs protection as pastoral leaseholders try to buy the land to develop dairy farms and irrigate with giant pivot irrigators.