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Newstalk ZB Headlines - 9am

Labour Under Attack Over Power - Claims that higher power prices are inevitable and politicking by Labour is to blame. Labour has withdrawn its support for a Bill which would impose price control on electricity lines companies. It says the Bill is badly worded and doesn’t include price controls on electricity retailers. ACT also opposes the Bill meaning it can only pass with New Zealand First’s support. Energy Minister Max Bradford says consumers will pay the price if this attempt to reign in line companies fails.

UN Decision on Lamb Tariffs - A UN decision on lamb tariffs has come under fire again this morning from Australian Prime Minister John Howard in his final speech of his trip to Washington. The Georgetown university speech complains that signs of increasing US protectionism are deeply worrying. When the US introduces trade restrictions it is even harder to argue that other countries should open up their market.

Tougher Crimes Referendum - The man behind the Citizen’s Initiated Referendum on tougher crime penalties is delighted the referendum will go ahead on Election Day. A petition was circulated after Norm Withers’ mother was beaten up during a robbery in his Christchurch menswear shop. The referendum calls for tougher penalties for violent criminals and includes hard labour. Mr Withers says holding the referendum on the same day as the election will save tax payers millions of dollars.

Goat for President - Taranaki’s once a year Republic is searching for a new president. The reigning president is standing down after ten years at the helm. A local goat has arisen as a front runner for the job. The goat is expected to run against a local hotel owner. Campaign supporters are assuring voters that the goat has the politics and the personality to win.

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