The appointment of one of the men behind a controversial quad bike business to a conservation body is not a conflict of interest, a minister said yesterday.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch was speaking as a new coalition opposed to the ATV tour plan on the Railway Trail was being organised.

Colonel Burch, Minister of Public Works, said people critical of the appointment of Shane Hollis to the National Parks Commission should “actually read the Act”.

He added: “I operate within the law. I am allowed to appoint two people to the commission who are users of the trail.

“Shane Hollis certainly falls into that category and that’s why he was appointed.”

Mr Hollis was made a member of the commission by Colonel Burch last month.

The appointment came on the same day Colonel Burch announced in the House of Assembly that permission had been granted to Mr Hollis’s business to operate all-terrain vehicle tours in the West End.

Hundreds of members of the public objected to the plan.

Mr Hollis’s appointment to the advisory body was criticised by island environmental groups.

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