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Smith: ETS Amendments Irresponsible

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

2 September 2008 - Introducing more than 700 amendments to the complex emissions trading legislation just days before it becomes law is reckless and irresponsible, says National's Climate Change spokesman, Nick Smith.

"This bill has implications for the cost of living for families and the viability of businesses that will impact for decades. Parliament has a huge responsibility to get it right. This is impossible when the Minister introduces five supplementary order papers containing 77 pages of change totalling 785 amendments.

"Labour is putting its political needs ahead of the nation's interests in ramming this bill through. Helen Clark's deferral of the bill's implementation for two years until 2010 means there is no good reason for this mad rush.

"It is ridiculous to suggest that Members of Parliament can give any serious consideration to these amendments with the bill in committee stage today. These rushed SOPs are typical of the reckless advancement of this bill.

"So far we have seen a botched select committee process, shortened submission times, changes to the bill in the middle of the hearings, more than 1,000 amendments dumped on the committee just days before deliberation, and closed-door dealing with minor parties in order to cobble together support.

"The issue of climate change must be met with a robust, well-considered, and widely consulted policy approach.

"National will be moving that the bill and these additional 700 amendments be referred back to the select committee where they can be properly considered to ensure we get the critical detail right."

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