Re­gional fuel tax un­der ur­gency

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Par­lia­ment went into ur­gency on Wed­nes­day evening to speed up progress on the law to al­low re­gional fuel taxes, lead­ing to what Na­tional MPS have called a ‘‘dark day for democ­racy’’.

The bill left the com­mit­tee stage yes­ter­day and was likely to be read a third time be­fore the ses­sion fin­ished.

Ur­gency al­lows Par­lia­ment to sit for ex­tended hours un­til a bill is passed.

Un­less amended, the legli­sa­tion needs to be passed be­fore July 1 – the date it is sup­posed to come into ef­fect.

The bill al­lows Auck­land Coun­cil to add a tax of 11.5 cents a litre on petrol. Other coun­cils have in­di­cated in­ter­est in ap­ply­ing a sim­i­lar tax but the Gov­ern­ment has said this would not be al­lowed dur­ing its cur­rent term.

The ur­gency mo­tion was made by Labour’s leader of the House, Chris Hip­kins. But soon after, Na­tional’s Jami-lee Ross moved that all calls be set to zero in the com­mit­tee stage. This es­sen­tially al­lows ev­ery Na­tional MP to speak again on the bill if they want to – up to four times each.

Hip­kins re­sponded by adding an amend­ment to Ross’ mo­tion that would end all de­bate at the com­mit­tee stage. He then with­drew that amend­ment yes­ter­day morn­ing and the mo­tion was pre­dictably voted down.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.