Alcohol Bill Debate Grinds On

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 — 9:57 PM

MPs continued to grind through the the Alcohol Reform Bill on Wednesday evening with all opposition MPs amendments being thrown out, even when personal votes were held.

Voting on part three of the bill (which amongst other things covers licensing requirements, minimum pricing proposals and Local Area Plans), began at 8.34pm.

This came after Chairman Eric Roy accepted a closure motion and ruled that the earlier leave granted for extra speaking slots on the part was only of “up to six calls’’ not a guarantee of six calls.

Voting over a wide range of amendments then took place.

All Government amendments were passed; none of the Opposition amendments were accepted.

These included amendments:

Restricting the number of off-licenses, held as a personal vote and defeated by 40 to 79;

Banning liquor outlets a kilometre from schools was also defeated on a personal vote by 87 to 32;

Restricting trading hours on off-license premises was also defeated on a personal vote by 42 to 77;

Different amendments setting up various mechanisms to introduce a minimum price for alcohol were also defeated by 43 to 76 and 52 to 67.

The numbers reflect that National MPs cast their votes as a bloc through proxies, while Labour MPs split their votes.

Voting on part three ended at 9.37pm and MPs moved to part six of the bill.

Debate was interrupted when the House rose just before 10pm.

Parliament will resume at 9am on Thursday to consider a number of treaty settlement bills.

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