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Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says she’s gravely concerned at the impact tough new freshwater regulations, announced today, will have on Central Otago farmers and she believes the future of some farming operations could be jeopardised.

“Today’s announcement from the Environment Minister could negatively impact on the viability of many Central Otago farming operations, not only crippling farmers but impacting on the economies of the communities that they support.

“We all want improved water quality, but it’s important that take a measured approach. These proposals will put the shackles on our farmers’ ability to innovate and will heap costs on to a sector that is already facing historically low confidence.

“Farmers support water quality improvement because it underpins our sustainable farming value proposition to the world, but instead of forcing farmers out of business the Government should be supporting the primary sector into making positive change over time.

“I strongly oppose the onerous new targets that demand too rapid a turnaround in water quality, in too short a time frame.”

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