Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back under urgency

The House is back in urgency again, for the passage of the Energy (Fuels, Levies, and References) Biofuel Obligation Repeal Bill, Electricity (Renewable Preference) Repeal Bill, Domestic Violence (Enhancing Safety) Bill, Corrections Amendment Bill (No 2) and the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill. While I fundamentally disagree with them, the latter two have been through the select committee process, and their passage is simply part of the pre-Christmas rush. The first three, OTOH, haven't - they're been rammed through in the same abuse of democracy we saw last week. And once again, we're having to rely on the Greens to make available legislation which is being passed in our name.

(And while we're on the topic of secrets, the government still hasn't released the BORA vets of the bail and sentencing bills it passed last week. I wonder whether they're still writing them?)

Again, none of these bills is truly urgent, and there's certainly no reason to pass them in this way. And again with the domestic violence bill there are potentially serious human rights issues which should demand such examination. The result would almost certainly be better law, as mistakes would be found before the bill was passed. But it seems national is more concerned about puerile CEO games of "establishing their authority" and "making their mark" than good process or good policy. Couldn't they just piss on the Speaker's chair and be done with it?