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ACT Pleased Important Issues To Be Debated

Members’ day will become ACT Day in Parliament this Wednesday, said ACT leader Hon Richard Prebble.

ACT is guaranteed to have three of its members’ bills debated by Parliament –a first for the party.

“We are pleased the House will spend most of the day debating important issues raised by ACT. It is ACT’s ambition to get as many of our ideas and policies as we can before Parliament and the people of New Zealand.

“The bills reflect ACT’s view that sanctity of property rights, consumer choice and personal responsibility are vitally important for security and opportunity in New Zealand. “

Mr Prebble said the three bills are:

* The Medical Practitioners (Foreign Qualified Medical Practitioners) Bill, promoted by ACT Deputy Leader and Health Spokesman Ken Shirley.

The bill cuts through the red tape, which currently stops many eminently qualified overseas-trained doctors from practising here.

There have been a number of instances where difficulties in registering doctors who are perfectly well qualified in countries like Australia have restricted New Zealander’s access to medical treatment – for instance when Southland Health was unable to use an Australian eye specialist to reduce waiting lists.

* The Resource Management (consultation with Landowners) Amendment Bill, promoted by ACT Environment Spokesman Owen Jennings.

This requires local authorities to consult with all affected landowners before creating protection areas on private land.

It is an important principle that private property owners be treated fairly when councils wish to reduce their rights for common gain. There have been serious problems in areas such as Northland and Canterbury where property owners have had their rights to farm and manage their land unilaterally confiscated without any notice.

* The Criminal Justice (Parole Offenders) Amendment Bill, promoted by ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks.

The bill strengthens provisions for dealing with offences committed by parolees released from prison on trust. It would also compel the Justice Minister to ensure that detailed information is both compiled and published on offences committed while on parole.

A high percentage of prisoners released on parole commit fresh offences during the parole period – this includes documented cases of rape and murder. This bill treats offending in this circumstance very seriously by requiring prisoners to be recalled to complete their full sentence and sentencing on the new offence is to be cumulative, not concurrent. It gives prisoners a strong incentive to “go straight” and will most certainly reduce the overall level of offending.

“It is ACT’s intention to continue putting as many bills into the ballot as we can. We aim to keep our fresh ideas and positive policies before Parliament and the people of New Zealand,” said Hon Richard Prebble.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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