Friday, August 07, 2020

Climate Change: The CDM problem

Back in the Kyoto era, the international climate change regime included a Clean Development Mechanism to fund emissions reduction projects in developing nations. Essentially someone would certify that a project - e.g. building a windfarm, or installing energy-efficient lightbulbs - would reduce emissions over and above "business-as-usual". The project would then get internationally recognised carbon credits, which could be sold on the international market, making it more profitable.

The CDM saw all sorts of fraud - factories built solely to produce hugely damaging hydroflurocarbons, so they could get credits for destroying their product - but there's a story on Inside Climate News today about the CDM working properly, and how that has turned into a disaster as well. The short version: there are a bunch of chemical factories in China, which make adipic acid, a chemical feedstock. A byproduct of the manufacture of adipic acid is nitrous oxide, a long-lived, hugely-damaging greenhouse gas 300 times as strong as carbon dioxide (in NZ we mostly see this from cow-piss and fertiliser). But there was a cheap way of destroying those emissions and turning them into harmless nitrogen and oxygen. The equipment was installed, the emissions were destroyed, the factories got credits, the CDM works!

Except that there were side-effects. These factories earned so much money from CDM credits that it effectively distorted the global adipic acid market. Clean factories which were built not to produce nitrous oxide from the beginning were driven out of business. Then, when Russian and Ukranian fraud crashed the price of carbon credits, the Chinese factories turned off their removal technology and went back to polluting. The world got five years abatement, and then a clean(ish) industry where emissions were the exception became a dirty one where they were the norm. These factories are still polluting today, producing the emissions of one and a half New Zealands. And there's no regulatory or price mechanism to stop them.

The lesson here is that while the CDM and equivalents can fund a transition to cleaner tech, it needs to be backed up with regulation or permanent price mechanisms to ensure that that tech continues to be used. China didn't do that, and we are all victims of their poor policy.

Want a reason to support STV?

As the classic MMP cartoon goes, just look at who is against it. Yesterday, the Hamilton City Council voted to use STV for its next two local body elections. The move was initially opposed by deputy mayor Geoff Taylor. The reason? Because a voting system which provided accurate representation and enabled the election of a diversity of voices around the council table discriminated against and marginalised old white men:

Taylor said while he had no issue with increased diversity around the council table, there was an unpleasant side effect: “There’s an ugly undercurrent that pops up every so often ... the old while male privilege argument,” the deputy mayor declared. “I’m a white man in my 50s. Don’t presume to know me. You haven’t walked a mile in my shoes. You have no idea of what challenges I have had to overcome to be here or what sacrifices I’ve made. You might be surprised. “I would urge you not to fall into that trap of glibly marginalising one sector of society. Is that not the one prejudice that we have been trying to get away from?”

Because when you're privileged, raising up other voices looks like "discrimination", I guess.

But people like Geoff Taylor is exactly the problem STV is meant to solve. New Zealand's local government is basicly a gerontocracy, and before the last elections there were more councillors named "John" than there councillors born after 1980. It is unrepresentative and undemocratic. STV will fix that, in the same way that MMP is fixing it on a national level. Hamilton's move is a move towards a better, more equal New Zealand. And if Taylor doesn't like that, voters can judge him on it in 2022.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Assessing Labour's term

Parliament has just begun the adjournment debate, signalling the effective end of this Parliament. So it seems like an appropriate time to assess Labour's term in office. Unfortunately, its a pretty dismal assessment. Labour campaigned on one thing: change. Not just a change in who got the top jobs and the fat salaries, but a change in direction on inequality, on housing, on worker's rights, on climate change. And in her adjournment debate speech, Ardern is talking up those aspirations again. But the sad fact is that when in office, Labour hasn't delivered change. Instead, it has run a status quo government which has maintained existing inequalities and failures. Winston gets some of the blame for that, but not all - on some big issues, Labour chose not to change things, ruling out a capital gains tax, retaining the Hobbit law under another name, continuing subsidies for polluters and farmers. And they look set to repeat this, offering nothing if re-elected. No policies, no change in direction, just the red team getting the big bucks and the perks of office for another three years. That might thrill Labour hacks and apparatchiks, but it doens't thrill me.

A year ago, I called them a government of disappointment, and despite them finally having ovaried up and passed abortion law reform, I stand by that. Once upon a time Labour governments changed things and made New Zealand a better country. The modern Labour Party seems to have given up any ambition of that, and seem content to preside over whatever ruins National leaves them.

The government's one saving grace is that Ardern is good in a crisis. We saw it in Christchurch, we saw it over White Island, and we've seen it again with the pandemic: her instincts are good, and she is good at communicating what is necessary and bringing people with her. And in the middle of the biggest crisis we've faced for a century, that's useful, especially with the opposition working hard to make everyone think they are on the side of the virus. But we shouldn't pretend that she's good for anything else, or that the party she leads deserves re-election on its policy merits. The only policy achievements we've seen this term - the Zero Carbon Act, the Residential Tenancies Act, the half-measure of banning new fossil fuel exploration (which Labour immediately cheated on) - belong to the Greens. And the only way we will get anything other than the status quo from Labour next term is if the Greens can force them.

Climate Change: Still insufficient

Our climate change policies are insufficient to achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, according to independent assessor Climate Action Tracker:

New Zealand won’t be carbon neutral by 2050 without much stronger policies, says an independent analysis by Climate Action Tracker.

The non-profit highlighted a lack of active policies for cutting methane, spurring electric vehicles and boosting renewable energy.

Despite capping emissions, reforming the Emissions Trading Scheme, and passing the Zero Carbon Act, the Government is well off track for meeting a climate goal of curbing heating below 2 degrees Celsius, let alone 1.5C (the goal of the Zero Carbon Act), the analysis says.

Our target under the Paris Agreement is rated “insufficient” – the same as last year. Climate Action Tracker says if all countries followed our example, the world would reach 3C hotter than pre-industrial levels.

That target is currently under review, but that doesn't mean that the government will strengthen it, and Labour has shown no appetite for protecting lives in the future at the cost of jobs now (or at least, not when it comes to climate change). But as with COVID-19, the best way of protecting the economy from climate change is to go hard and go early to decarbonise, thus getting in on the ground floor of the post-carbon economy while limiting the total damage we do to the atmosphere. Sadly, they've preferred to try fudging the numbers instead.

Parliament still doesn't care about our rogue military

It is the last sitting day of Parliament, and the last question time before the House is dissolved. So, are there any questions about the damning findings of the Hit and Run inquiry, and how the government plans to bring the military back under democratic control? Of course not.

NZDF killed a child, then lied to and misled Ministers about it, undermining the principle of democratic control. And through their actions, our representatives are saying that they're just fine with that, and that no questions need to be asked about it at all. If MPs are wondering why the public so often has contempt for them, this sort of collective conspiracy of silence is why. And we should judge them for it in September.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Unfit to govern

The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 was extended today, until December 1st or the tenth sitting day following the resumption of Parliament after the election. It seems like a necessary extension. While we currently have eradicated the virus in New Zealand, it is still banging at the door, and its probably inevitable that it will get in at some stage, even with our current border protections. We need to have a good legal framework in place to allow us to impose lockdowns or other appropriate measures when that happens.

So naturally, the National Party voted against extension. Its as if they want people to think they are on the side of the virus. Though really, the reason is that they are irresponsible wreckers, who would have passed this law or something like it had they been in government, but feel they have to oppose it because Labour passed it. And that simply makes them unfit to govern.

(I opposed the search provisions of the law, which are overly intrusive, but the general framework is a necessary and proportionate response to this threat for the time being).

A slush fund

One of the government's key policies - extracted by NZ First as part of its coalition agreement - is the "Provincial Growth Fund": $1 billion a year spent on creating jobs in rural New Zealand. Yesterday the Auditor-General issued a report on the fund, finding that it lacks transparency, and that it is difficult to evaluate whether we're getting value for money for this spending. This is pretty damning - when the government spends money, we're entitled to know what it is spending it on, what it expects to get out of it, and whether that actually happens. And the Auditor-General found that that was not the case.

Regional Development Minister Shane Jones' response has simply been to deny the findings. Of course he would - he's the problem. Jones tours the provinces - especially Northland, the electorate he hopes to win in September - dispensing millions of dollars, and trying to make it look like its all his personal gift rather than the result of any competitive process (and in some cases, it is). And this is how he defends it:

“You win an election through an MMP process and associated with electoral victory are dividends, and one dividend arrived in the form of manifesto commitments, funded by putea in the form of the PGF [Provincial Growth Fund], endorsed by the Cabinet of New Zealand Government,” Jones said.
This is a simply corrupt attitude. Government money is not there to be dispensed to the government's supporters as a reward for their votes. Its the sort of shit I'd expect to see in a despotism, not in New Zealand. As for how to fix it, voting Jones out in September would be a good start.

Burning their social licence

The Warehouse, one of New Zealand's biggest retailers, has decided to stop selling coal. Good. Coal is a dirty, polluting fossil fuel, and the less of it we have out there, the better. Retailers choosing not to sell it sends a clear message that this is not a fuel we want in this country.

Of course, domestic coal use is only 1% of the total - the real villains here are the dairy, steel, and electricity industries. But their use is also being challenged, and they are being encouraged to move away from coal. And the Warehouse's move helps that struggle too, by de-legitimising coal as a fuel and undermining the industry's social licence. After all, if retailers won't sell it, then why should we allow people to burn it in their dirty, stinking factories?

But we need to go further, and cut off the supply, as we are doing for gas. If we are to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, we cannot burn coal. It is that simple. And that means setting a timeline to cancel mining permits and resource consents and ban imports. And the sooner we do that, the easier it will be for people to make the switch.

15,000 employed under Labour

The labour market statistics have been released, and they show that unemployment actually dropped last quarter. All told, there are 111,000 unemployed - 15,000 fewer than when the government took office.

But before anyone thinks that the pandemic hasn't put people out of work, remember that this is for the June quarter, and the wage subsidy schemes are still operating. Essentially, this is how things look before the wave hits. And even then, "underutilisation" - people working less than they want - is up, while the number of people in the work force has dropped, which goes against recent trends. And the next stats will probably be worse.

Its also worth looking at what Labour has done over the last three years, and the answer is "not much". For all their talk about jobs, the floor for unemployment with their policy settings seems to be 4% (seen in September 2018, June 2019, and June 2020) - just half a percent lower than it was under National, and significantly higher than it was under Clark. For all their rhetoric, they're a status quo government pursuing status quo policies, uninterested in delivering real change.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Parliament doesn't care about our rogue military

On Friday the Hit and Run inquiry delivered a devastating report which found that NZDF had systematically misled Ministers over civilian deaths. The report called into question civilian control of the military (and indeed, military control of the military), a fundamental principle of our democracy. So you'd expect our politicians to be demanding accountability for it in Parliament today. But you'd be wrong. There are no questions about the inquiry or the response to it in Question Time. You'd get the impression the politicians just don't care that our soldiers killed a child and lied to them about it.

Or rather, they don't care to know about it, because it can only make them look bad. The killing and lies happened on National's watch, so they don't want to know. Labour is shit-scared of being accused of being anti-military, so they're not interested either. The Defence Minister is from NZ First, so they don't want questions. And the Greens gave all theirs to National (oops). But the net result of all this self-interested arse-covering is that a major challenge to our democracy from the military is being allowed to go completely unexamined.

This is not good enough. Our "representatives" are simply not doing their jobs. And because they're all not doing their jobs, we don't get to punish them for it at the election. If they wanted to give people the idea that they were just there to defend and cover up for the status quo, they couldn't really do any better.

Corruptly protecting their own

How corrupt are the New Zealand Police? This corrupt:

On 10 February 2019, Police attended a family harm incident. The suspect attempted to run the attending officers over in a driveway with his car, narrowly missing them, before fleeing the scene. A short pursuit followed, ending when the suspect stopped his car.

The arrest was captured on CCTV and the footage shows the suspect getting out of his car and lying face down on the ground with his hands behind his head. One of the officers is then seen firmly placing a foot on his head, kicking his body several times and punching him to the head before he is handcuffed and arrested.

The Police found the officer's use of force was excessive but decided not to charge him with a criminal offence as they did not believe it was in the public interest to do so.

The IPCA disagrees. They noted that the police officer was aggressive from the beginning, threatening the victim with a taser without justification, and that they then lied in their report about what they had done. Unfortunately, they don't get to make prosecution decisions - police do. And as usual, they use that power to protect their own, refusing to lay charges even when abuses of power are captured live on camera. And then, they wonder why nobody trusts them.

The police are clearly not willing to enforce the law impartially. as for the solution, it is obvious: give the IPCA prosecution power, so they can do the job police refuse to of holding their own to account.

(And meanwhile, this practice of anonymity for violent, abusive police has to end. Why should they be protected from the reputational damage they deserve to suffer for their thuggery? And how many times has it hidden the fact that we have repeat offenders still wearing a badge? In the US, where police records are public, it has allowed abusers to be identified and driven out (if only because no-one will insure them anymore). We need to do this in New Zealand too.)

Some welcome improvements

Parliament's triennial Review of Standing Orders was released today, and it contains a number of welcome, if minor, improvements. The ones that caught my are:

  • A move to encourage "pre-legislative engagement" - the government consulting widely on legislation before it is introduced - by promising easier passage (e.g. with shorter debates). As for why this is necessary, see my comments on the government's proposed OIA rewrite: the select committee stage isn't really "consultation", as it is too late to make any meaningful change there. Encouraging pre-legislative engagement means a better chance of real consultation on bills, with real public input (rather than the sham we get at the moment). Though I'd expect select committees to be vigorous in demanding real consultation, and not reward the government for conducting a sham or box-ticking exercise.
  • A specialist petitions committee to effectively screen petitions to Parliament. The petitions committee would deal with most personal grievance petitions, while forwarding those requiring real investigation and detailed knowledge to subject-matter committees.
  • Automatic introduction of Members Bills with majority support. At present members can support bills, but it is pretty meaningless. This provision would make it meaningful, and the government would be prevented from abusing it by excluding the support of Ministers and Under-secretaries.

When adopted, these moves should give us a slightly better Parliament next term. Though it will be interesting to see whether the pre-engagement and automatic introduction provisions actually get used.

Monday, August 03, 2020

More British war crimes

In New Zealand, we've just had the report of the Hit and Run inquiry, which found that a New Zealand led raid had accidentally killed civilians, including a child. meanwhile, around the same time, the British SAS was conducting its own raids in Afghanistan, and theirs were a hell of a lot more suspicious. Civilians - all of them male, all of them "military-aged" (a military euphemism deliberately chosen to make people sound suspicious and cast doubt upon their civilian status) kept being shot and killed after being detained, supposedly after having grabbed weapons. But the stories were so eerily similar that even UK officers were forced to admit that this was probably a deliberate policy of murder:

An internal email requests a copy of the OPSUM within hours of the killings and asks: "Is this about [redacted] latest massacre!"

The reply includes a summary of the unlikely events in the official report and concludes by saying: "You couldn't MAKE IT UP!"

It looks as if the soldiers reading these reports had concerns that they were being falsified using near-identical cover stories.

A formal briefing note was passed up the chain of command by a senior member of the UK Special Forces, demanding an investigation to "put a stop to criminal behaviour". Naturally, the British Army dismissed it. Now they've been accused by a judge of withholding evidence from the courts - AKA perversion of the course of justice - and ordered to turn over evidence to their victims. As for the government, it plans to grant impunity to British soldiers for war crimes specifically to prevent people seeking justice through the courts. Its a classic case of the establishment protecting itself and its servants. But if people can't get justice through UK courts, they will simply have to seek it in The Hague. And by granting impunity, British Ministers will have given themselves a place in the dock next to their pet murderers.

Meanwhile, this is another reason why we should not let the NZDF cooperate with the UK or US militaries: because these sorts of habits spread. If we don't want kiwi soldiers to become murderers, we need to quarantine them from foreign killers to prevent memetic infection.

Climate Change: The risk assessment

In addition to establishing a process for setting emissions reductions plans, the Zero Carbon Act established a process for managing the risks of climate change. The first part of this is the preparation of regular risk assessments, looking at the risks to our economy, society, environment, and ecology. The first of these was released today, and it paints a pretty dire picture. We're looking at extreme risks to our drinking water supplies, to buildings near the coast, and to government finances from paying the repeated ongoing costs of disaster relief and social dislocation. We're also looking at significant risks to social cohesion and of increasing existing inequalities due to who will be impacted and who will pay. Plus, there's serious risks of maladaptation, of responding badly by failing to plan for worst cases or for the longer term. And we need to start doing something about these risks in the immediate future.

The next stage of this process will be to produce an adaptation plan, on how to address those risks. And there will be progress reporting against it, so governments will not be able to stick their fingers in their ears and pretend everything is fine. But pretty obviously, the best way of managing these risks is to reduce our emissions and decarbonise our society, and to work to make that a global policy. And equally obviously, our current policy settings are nowhere near doing that. So, if our government is to pass the laugh test, it needs to significantly strengthen our climate change policies and start decarbonisation. Otherwise it is literally just sitting there waiting for the flood and letting it happen.

You can read the full risk assessment here.

Amnesty International on transparency

Over on The spinoff, Amnesty International's Meg de Ronde has a response to Friday's release of the Hit and Run report. And in response to Attorney-General David Parker's claim that the government was being "transparent" by releasing the report, its titled "we shouldn’t have to work this hard to get transparency from our government". De Ronde points out that NZDF and the government in fact fought against transparency every step of the way, first opposing an inquiry, then ensuring it was held in secret, and all the while releasing as little information as possible and trying to discredit those who had exposed their crimes. And they have some pointy things to say about that culture of secrecy:

I have big concerns that if we don’t work hard, the current government and future governments will only pay lip service to the word transparency. My team and I are fighting constantly to get access to basic information about what the state is doing. The Official Information Act process is seemingly treated with disdain by many government departments and officials. We’ve had requests for basic information denied on spurious grounds or delayed for ridiculously long periods. Meanwhile, we don’t have access to data on the use of force by our police or on the lockdown hours in our prisons. It’s a waste of our time and resources. This information should be accessible.

A functioning freedom of information regime (or better, proactive disclosure) is a basic safety mechanism against government abuse. Our current regime was used to keep abuse hidden. The fact that that was legal represents a failure of the OIA regime, and correcting that failure should be the starting point for any reform.

Labour offers nothing

There's an election next month, so you'd be expecting political parties to be telling us what they stand for and what they'd do if they'd win. But while the Greens have given us a detailed policy platform, and National has talked about roads and austerity, Labour, currently leading the polls and on track to be a single party government, has said it has no plans to tell us what it will do if re-elected:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is warning voters not to expect any large-scale Labour policies this election, as her party's priority is the Covid-19 recovery.

Ardern, who is the Labour leader, was also critical of her opponents' plans for government debt, saying what National has proposed means tough austerity measures for the next generation.

Speaking to RNZ this morning, Ardern said voters should not expect a "large-scale range of policies" from Labour this election.

Obviously, their big policy is "not getting everyone killed". But they still need to provide more detail than that. Because, pretty obviously, our other problems haven't gone away just because there's a pandemic on. We still have a housing crisis and intolerable levels of inequality. We still have an environmental crisis, with farmers sucking us dry and filling our rivers with cowshit. And we still have a climate crisis, where we are literally making the planet uninhabitable for humanity. And any party with pretensions of being elected to power owes it to voters to explain what it is going to do about those crises. A party which doesn't is treating voters with contempt.

Labour's "no policies" strategy may make for a small political target and avoid pissing people off, but it also suggests they're not actually going to do anything. Instead of the change we need, we're going to get the same unjust, unequal, unsustainable status quo. And if that's all that's on offer, they do not deserve to be elected.

Friday, July 31, 2020


So, the Hit and Run inquiry has reported back, and found some appalling shit at NZDF and NZSIS. And while they quibble a few of the details - the name of a dead child - they basicly uphold Hager and Stephenson's version of events. The SAS went to those villages. Civilians were killed. A man was beaten by NZ soldiers and then handed over to the Afghans and tortured. And then, to cap it all off, NZDF misled the people of New Zealand and its own Minister about this, in a shoddy effort to protect the reputation of a unit of professional killers.

I have not read the full report yet. But a few things which stand out from the media coverage:

  • The inquiry exonerates the killings as collateral damage in a "legitimate" military operation. An establishment inquiry which didn't even talk to the victims was never going to do anything else. Meanwhile, while they play legal games over the laws of war, the key fact - NZDF killed civilians - is swept under the carpet. But we should neither forget nor accept it.
  • A number of SAS and NZDF officers are named as having misled Ministers and the public, or as effectively looking the other way on past deceit. Which obviously undermines the principle of civilian control of the military, striking at the heart of our democracy. These people need to be held accountable, dishonourably discharged and stripped of their honours, pour encourager les autres. Careers need to end over this, otherwise there is no incentive for NZDF not to do it again in future.
  • The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has found a sucking moral void at the senior levels of the SIS, whose response to credible reports of torture raised with them by their subordinates was to use the "intelligence" and say nothing about how it was acquired. These people also need to be held accountable for their failure to uphold kiwi values. They need to be fired, stripped of their security clearances, and never work in government again. Because someone who looks the other way on torture is unfit to be a human being, let alone a public servant in a position of trust.
  • Wayne Mapp's extraordinary admission that he just "forgot" about civilian casualties is absolutely damning, and shows that he should never have been a Minister. But it also highlights a problem with a culture of secrecy and oral-only briefings which enabled this to occur. NZDF and SIS love the mystique of "too important to commit to paper", but if something is important enough to tell the Minister, it is important enough to write down and give to them so they don't forget about it in future. And if an agency doesn't want to write it down - that is, document it for future investigation, not to mention comply with their legal obligations under the Public Records Act - Ministers should immediately assume manipulation and start asking pointy questions. The problem, of course, is that Ministers often are willing to collude in poor record-keeping (AKA "crime") if it keeps their names off controversial material. Which is why we need robust, independent random audits, and a few prosecutions, again pour encourager les autres. Because if we let agencies and Ministers disappear stuff down the memory hole this way, they get away with e.g. killing children, and we all lose.
  • Pretty obviously, NZDF would find it a lot harder to kill children if we weren't constantly involved in other people's wars. The best way to stop it from happening again is to not fight such wars. And the best way of doing that is to make them incapable of doing so. Take their toys away, and disestablish the SAS, and we'll be a lot safer.

Will any of this happen? Not if NZDF can help it. But to point out the obvious, there's an election coming up. We should demand candidates hold NZDF and SIS accountable for their actions. If they refuse, we should vote for someone who will.

Places to go, people to see

While there's news today, I'm off to Wellington to attend Armageddon on the weekend. Normal bloggage will resume on Monday.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Close Motunui too

Low methanol prices and unclear gas supply are threatening the future of foreign nultinational polluter Methanex's Traranki methanol production facilities:

A long term “softening” in methanol demand could have a considerable impact on Taranaki if it contributed to methanol producer Methanex quitting the region, New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young has warned.

Methanex has recently cut production at its Taranaki plants because of a weakening in methanol prices and a tightening supply of natural gas, industry news service Business Desk has reported.

Production at the plants is understood to be at 85 per cent, or 1.9m tonnes annually for 2020.

Cue the local National MP whining about jobs and exports. But as with Tiwai Point, its worth asking: is Methanex actually worth anything to New Zealand? And as with Tiwai Point, the answer is "no".

According to this article from last year, Methanex directly employs "270 staff through four sites - Motonui [sic], Waitara Valley, and Port Taranaki - and a small team in Auckland". These are high-paying jobs, with base salaries of $100,000. In addition, it indirectly supports 700 jobs for maintance contractors. So, call it a thousand jobs all up for a nice round number.

What do these jobs cost us? As noted above, Methanex is currently producing 1.9 million tons of methanol a year. As a highly-emissions intensive industrial activity, it is entitled to a carbon subsidy on 90% of its production, of 0.7854 tons of carbon per ton of methanol. In addition, because export of methanol is considered a "removal activity", it gets another 1.375 tons of carbon for each ton of methanol it exports. That gives a total carbon subsidy of 2.01 tons of carbon per ton of production, or 3.825 million tons. And plugging in the current carbon price of $33.60, it turns out we're subsidising them by $128.5 million a year. For a thousand jobs, that works out to $128,500 each, every year (and that amount is only going to go up, as carbon prices increase).

As with Tiwai Point, it appears the economic "benefit" of having Methanex in Taranaki actually boils down to "carbon subsidies". And as with Tiwai Point, it seems we'd be better off if we just let it die, and instead invested those subsidies for a decade in retraining and the creation of clean replacement industries which would provide good jobs without destroying the planet.


A ballot for two Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn:

  • Adverse Weather-affected Timber Recovery on Conservation Lands Bill (Maureen Pugh)
  • Accident Compensation (Notice of Decisions) Amendment Bill (Paulo Garcia)

(These were incidentally bills 3 and 2. Which sounds like someone didn't shake the biscuit tin very well...)

Both these bills will be voted on by the next Parliament. And in the case of Pugh's dirty piece of environmental pillage, hopefully voted down.

And that was the last ballot for the term. With a new parliament, there'll be a different balance of parties, and different ballot dynamics. Which will hopefully mean less of the law and order bullshit we've seen this term.