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Judy Keall's Swansong Will Ruin Bars and Cafes

Judy Keall's Swansong Will Ruin Bars and Cafes

Tuesday, October 9 2001 Penny Webster Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

ACT New Zealand Internal Affairs Spokesman MP Penny Webster today said the Government is trying to conceal massive changes to 'smokefree' legislation.

"The Government is trying to sneak through legislation that will require all bar and cafe owners to spend thousands of dollars physically segregating smokers. One has to question the timing, when key proponent Judy Keall has just announced her retirement. Is this Labour's way of providing Ms Keall with a swan-song?

"This Government is declaring war on bars and cafes.

"Ms Keall's supplementary order paper (SOP) to the Smokefree Environments Amendment Bill should be looked at after the Bill is reported back from Select Committee, as per the proper process.

"Instead, the Government is in an unseemly haste to short-cut the process by adding the SOP to the Bill. This is undemocratic and unfair.

"The SOP is a misguided leap of political correctness which will force bar owners up and down the country to spend millions of dollars on building alterations, and force many to close their doors," Mrs Webster said.

Bar-owners were never consulted over the legislation. Over eleven thousand New Zealanders have signed a petition by Mrs Webster to halt the legislation.

"Bars and cafes are already free to offer smoke-free areas. The Government is trying to legislate and regulate against everything.

"One really has to question the process if the Government tries to fast-track something with major implications for the hospitality industry, simply because an MP has decided to quit politics," Mrs Webster said.

ENDS

NB: Media and others are invited to attend the Backbencher Pub in Wellington at 11.15am on Wednesday 9 October 2001 , where Mrs Webster and HANZ CEO Bruce Robertson will collect final signatures on a petition to defeat Ms Keall's SOP, before presenting the petition to parliament.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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