GCSB Bill Progresses After Filibuster

by Desk Editor on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 — 8:00 PM

The committee stage of the Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill has been completed with no Opposition amendments succeeding.

The bill will now get its third reading tomorrow after it completed the committee stage hurdle with National, ACT and United Future in favour.

During the debate Labour’s Deputy Leader Grant Robertson argued the bill should not commence until after an inquiry was held into security agencies and the public could have confidence in the agencies and the law they worked under.

No Government members contributed to the debate today as they sought it to end the filibuster as quickly as possible.

At the start of the debate a motion by Labour to return to Part One of the bill in order to debate amendments now proposed by David Shearer was defeated after a debate of just under an hour.

Debate and voting on part three of the bill was completed just before 5pm and the debate on clauses one and two at 5.45pm to the anger of many Labour MPs who believe the debate should have run longer.

This led to the Speaker being recalled over the chair’s move to close debate and the Speaker ruled as always that the chair is the judge of when to accept a closure motion and it was not his role to second guess that decision.

Trevor Mallard further delayed the bill’s passage by debating a procedural motion on splitting the bills into a number of parts. This took the debate past the dinner break and the bill was eventually reported with amendment by 61 to 60 with National, ACT and United Future in favour just before 8pm

MPs began the second reading of the Inquiries Bill.

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