Who would think taking rubbish to the West Cost to turn it into energy was a good idea? Not the experts who advise the government:
The government announced hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for a proposed waste-to-energy scheme two days after experts advised it was a lemon.
The Environment Ministry warned the Provincial Growth Fund that the proposed project on the West Coast did not stack up economically or environmentally.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones placed the proposed scheme on ice in February after RNZ informed him its chief executive, Gerard Gallagher, had been referred to the Serious Fraud Office.
Now, advice obtained under the Official Information Act shows the Environment Ministry warned the scheme had enormous flaws just two days before Mr Jones announced $350,000 for its feasibility study.
Not only would the scheme undermine other incentives to reduce waste – like recycling, it would increase carbon emissions the experts cautioned.
Mr Jones said he never received the advice and even if he had it would have made no difference. . .
A few weeks ago Martin van Beynen wrote:
. . . The incident has also highlighted the danger of a government full of academics, health professionals, public servants, teachers and career politicians picking business winners.
The idea that councils around the country would rail or truck their rubbish to Westport for incineration is one of those ludicrous ideas that only regional development officials would think is a flyer. . .
It doesn’t take a $350,000 to know this scheme isn’t a flyer, it’s a very expensive and environmentally unfriendly lemon.