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Sale of Liquor Conscience Votes Expected Next Week

Media Statement by
Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Justice

21 July 1999

Sale of Liquor Conscience Votes Expected Next Week

Parliament will debate controversial changes to the Sale of Liquor Act next week.

Justice Minister Tony Ryall announced today that the Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill (No.2) will be debated in a two stage process set down to begin next week.

"We are anxious that the bill be debated in an orderly way considering it is full of conscience issues of moment. The Business Committee has agreed on a format for making progress", said Mr Ryall.

"In broad terms what is proposed is that the bill will be dealt with in two stages in the Committee of the whole House.

"First there will be the 'Issues phase' in the Committee of the Whole. The idea is that the House will debate each of the 11 conscience issues outlined in the select committee report. The Business Committee has allotted 20 hours for this phase next week. It is hoped the House will go into extended hours on Tuesday.

"Each of the options identified by the select committee under an issue will form a supplementary order paper.

"At the end of the debate on an issue there would be a vote on each of these supplementary order papers on each of the options. Options will be considered from least restrictive to most restrictive as set out in the Select Committee's report. Once one SOP gets 50% + 1 of members' votes, that position will be considered the position of the House.

"At the conclusion of the Issues phase overall the Committee will then report on progress and there will be a break.

"It is essential that once the issues phase has been completed there be a pause of some weeks.

"This will allow time for consequential provisions to be drafted and the implications of the decisions taken in the issues phase to be considered alongside a large number of other technical issues.

"The Committee of the Whole will then go into the second phase. It will go through the bill clause by clause in the usual way. This will also be when any other SOPs will be considered. It will also be when any possible inconsistencies resulting from phase one will be remedied. Past experience suggests we may need to recommit one or two issues.

"This process has been developed in order to assist the Members to deal with these difficult issues in the most effective way.

"The Speaker and I are liaising with members of each caucus on this procedure. We have set up a cross-party management committee to facilitate deliberation on the bill".

"The important thing is to try to ensure that we get a coherent Sale of Liquor Act at the end of the process".

Mr Ryall indicated he would move amendments to restore club licences and permanent club charters.

ENDS

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