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Greens hold up efforts to tackle youth drinking

5 August 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Green tactics hold up efforts to tackle youth drinking

Progressive MP Matt Robson says he is disappointed that the Greens' political tactics are delaying the day that Parliament will be able to take decisive action to tackle problems associated with youth drinking.

"Standing Orders make it clear that it is alright, once in a while, for MPs to defer their Member's Bills if there is good reason such as a sponsoring MP being overseas on work. But I believe it is stretching the bow a very long way for the Greens to defer no less than three of their Bills on a single day as they did yesterday," Matt Robson said.

"While there may have been good tactical reasons for the Greens' decision, I'm not sure what these are. But one of the effects of the Greens' tactics is that a number of Bills other parties believe serve the public interest get delayed as well.

Matt Robson's Member's Bill, proposing to raise the minimum drinking age to 20 and to strengthen provisions relating to the supply of liquor to minors and to strengthen liquor advertising law, didn't get called from the ballot today. Nor did bills, from three other parties, which in different ways proposed to tackle alcohol abuse issues.

Only two Bills were pulled out of the ballot today. Had it not been for the Greens' tactics, another two Bills could have been selected to be debated next Members’ Day, Matt Robson said.


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