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Govt u-turn on hop industry restructuring bill

Govt u-turn on hop industry restructuring bill

Shane Ardern - National Associate Agriculture Spokesperson

The Hop Industry Restructuring Bill introduced into the House yesterday, was a complete back down by the Labour Government, says National Associate Agriculture spokesperson Shane Ardern.

As a Member of Parliament involved in the Select Committees dealing with industry reforms, I can only say that the Government Members must have had a “road to Damascus experience”.

Not so long ago Damien O’Connor called deregulation “idiotic” and “blind ideology”.

In September 1999 when speaking AGAINST deregulation Mr O’Connor said “we will hear some of the other idiotic arguments put by the ACT party and by the National Government ... about why we should go further and deregulate completely, but the facts are that will not be in the best interests of the industry. ... they want to have other people exporting, but they know that it must be done in collaboration with a major single-desk marketing structure; otherwise, they will all be peasants”.

“You can try any excuse but the fact is the Government has done a u-turn and how galling it must be for the Minister to admit that the National Government was right all along,” Mr Ardern said.

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