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Dairy Owners Protest Alcohol Ban At Parliament

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 18 NZPA - About 20 dairy owners converged on Parliament today to protest a bill that would prevent them selling alcohol.

The Sale and Supply of Liquor and Liquor Enforcement Bill was introduced to Parliament last year by the Labour government and passed its first reading in March.

Part of the bill would prevent alcohol being sold in stores with a floor area less than 150sq/m.

The bill is before Parliament's Justice Select Committee and will be considered along with the Law Commission's report on alcohol.

Members of the New Zealand Association of Dairies, Groceries and Small Businesses meet at Parliament today carrying signs saying "lets save the corner shop" and "save our small businesses".

The members said they wanted the law to be fair and national policies should not be created to solve regional problems.

They asked that the bill be thrown out of the house.

United Future MP Peter Dunne said the corner dairy was a "major part" of New Zealand's tradition and culture and the group had a right to be heard.

Politicians wanted to have a credible, workable and fair law, he said.

Justice Select Committee chairman Chester Burrows said the dairy owners could "rest assured" that MPs were "applying our minds" to the issue.

All submissions made to the committee were being "carefully considered", he said.

Labour MP Grant Robertson said MPs understood there was a difficult balance between safety and freedom in the community.

"And that's a difficult balance when it comes to alcohol."

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