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Copeland: Govt back-sliding on border security

Friday, 21 May, 2004

Copeland: Govt back-sliding on border security

The Government's 80/20 cost splitting proposal on border security expenses - with exporters and importers picking up the larger part of the tab - is a farce and a dereliction of duty, United Future's Gordon Copeland said today.

"And to make matters worse, we had Rick Barker in the House painting it as some sort of 50/50 split with some very dubious accounting - which even if it were true, would still be a failure of a government to fulfil its responsibilities," United Future's revenue spokesman said.

Speaking as the Border Security Bill came up for a second reading in Parliament yesterday, Mr Copeland said it was well past time for the Government to face up to its national security obligations.

"This is a September 11 Bill. It is as simple as that.

"It is about the defence of the realm and the $20 million in costs being incurred for increased border security tie directly into the post-September 11 US container security initiative and its implications for this country.

"The Government needs to face this and stop ducking and diving and trying to off-lay everything on to business," Mr Copeland said.

"Its job is to fund our security costs and it's time it stopped welching on the deal."

Ends.

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