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ACT Reiterates Support For Progress On GM

Monday 24 Jun 2002

ACT Environment Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff says a public debate arranged at very short notice between Labour and the Greens for Dunedin this week further highlights the level of contrivance in the apparent "conflict" between the two parties.

"Jeanette Fitzsimons is currently battling to hold on to her seat in Coromandel and yet she can apparently find the time to fly down to Dunedin. Pete Hodgson is a busy Cabinet Minister - but he can still find the time too. I gather this debate was only arranged in the middle of last week - this at a time when most MPs' diaries are chock full of engagements.

"To me this indicates close co-operation between the parties to create a bogus election issue, where no issue exists and to attempt to dominate the election agenda. Labour is trying to ignore the real issue - namely its abysmal handling of the economy, taxation, violent crime, health and education.

"It is Parliament that will decide whether the moratorium on GM field trials will be lifted. Labour is trying to pre-empt the issue, which brings the whole process into disrepute. The decisions have been made in principle about genetic modification. There's no need for further debate. ACT has already said we will support the cautious introduction of GM and the lifting of the moratorium on field trials. Labour has our support on this issue. It doesn't need to be talking to anybody else or making any grandstanding gestures," Gerry Eckhoff said.


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