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MPs opposed to alcohol harm Bill should reconsider

15 August 2005

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Dunedin MPs opposed to alcohol harm Bill should reconsider

Dunedin MPs who voted against the Progressive's Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction Bill need to reconsider their opposition in the wake of a weekend sting in the city on alcohol sales to minors, Progressive MP Matt Robson said in Dunedin today.

"The police in Dunedin say they are stunned at the result of a weekend sting on alcohol sales to minors. Of 29 outlets visited, eight sold alcohol to two 16-year-old girls, without asking for identification," Matt Robson said.

"The city's police liquor licensing head, Sergeant Martin Hepburn, is reported to be amazed at the number of illegal sales just a week after a similar operation, but he shouldn't be: It is tragically all too common," Matt Robson said.

Matt Robson's Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill proposes to raise the alcohol purchasing age to 20 years, strengthen provisions relating to the supply of liquor to minors, provide a restriction on broadcast liquor advertising before 10pm and to extend the jurisdiction of the Broadcasting Standards Authority to include broadcast liquor advertising issues.

Jim Anderton's Progressive Party views the matter as a public health and safety policy issue although most other parties are treating it as a "conscience" issue whereby MPs aren't voting on party lines.

The Bill is currently before Parliament's Law and Order Select Committee and will soon hear public submissions.

Dunedin MPs Metiria Turei (Greens, List), Katherine Rich (National, List) and Hon. Pete Hodgson (Labour, Dunedin North) had voted against the Bill proceeding to Select Committee but they were in a minority in Parliament.


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