The Labor Party has signed a new offer to abolish restrictions on the sale of alcohol during the Easter weekend, Anzac Day and Christmas Day.
Labor MP Kieran McAnulty will introduce a future law to remove restrictions on the sale of alcohol in the 2012 Alcohol Sale and Supply Act, after gaining the support of his party on Tuesday.
But his bill will not change the mosaic of trade restrictions that prevents many stores from opening for Easter, Anzac Day and Christmas.
“Holy Week is the most important holiday for Christians, and I respect it. But I myself, as a Catholic, who attended Mass on Easter Sunday, consider that a person’s individual religious opinions are unique and that I never they should not be imposed on others, ”McAnulty said.
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“If people don’t want to drink on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, they shouldn’t do it. But why should we stop others if they want to? ”.
McAnulty garnered support from the Labor group on Tuesday morning to introduce the bill to members’ votes. These members ’bills go into a ballot or lottery, with other bills waiting to be pulled out of Parliament’s“ cookie tin ”and introduced into the House.
But the Labor MP hoped to make use of a new rule in Parliament, yet to be used, which would allow a members’ bill to skip the ballot and be presented to the House if it gets the support of 61 MPs across Parliament, excluding the Cabinet of Ministers.
That is, McAnulty, which said it had broad but possibly not full support from the Labor group, would need the support of MPs from parties other than Labor to advance the bill.
“I have not had the opportunity to measure it, but I hope there is support. If it’s a matter of conscience, I hope the party’s policy doesn’t get in the way, ”he said.
“I imagine ACT, as a party that supports fewer regulations, I hope they are in favor of that.
“I hope that since this bill simply removes the restriction on the sale of alcohol and does not address the issue of trade restriction, we can get the support of the Green Party because workers will still have their mandatory days off. this period.
“And I hope National sees that there is merit in that. They have long been asking for support from tourism companies. Here’s a way to show that support. “
He said he was confident that if the bill was withdrawn, he would have enough support from the entire chamber to pass it.
Under current legislation, companies authorized to open can only sell alcohol if they accompany a meal.
“There are companies that are allowed to operate right now and that have to go through this scam to control what people eat in order to be able to sell them alcohol,” McAnulty said.
“I think it’s a ridiculous situation, where if I went to a pub in an area where I was allowed to operate on Easter Sunday and ordered a plate of fries, I might not be allowed to buy a pint. But if this French fries dish included a piece of fish, I would probably be able to do it. ”
However, existing restrictions on trade would be maintained, including regional exemptions from such restrictions, under the Store Hours of Work Act 1990.