Submission date denial of democracy

Published: Sat 15 Dec 2007 01:28 PM
Submission date denial of democracy
To close submissions on 8 February for legislation which represents the most radical reform of the real estate industry in more than 30 years is a denial of democracy, the Real Estate Institute said today.
“This is especially so as the Real Estate Agents Bill was only introduced on 3 December and had its first reading under urgency only two days ago,” said Institute National President Murray Cleland.
“A number of MPs who spoke in that debate – Hon Peter Dunne, Sue Bradford from the Greens and Simon Power and Katherine Rich from National – said how important it was that the industry was allowed to have its voice heard.
“But to expect people to be able to absorb and comment upon what is a long and very detailed Bill within that timeframe is unfair and unrealistic, especially given that it is only five days to Christmas.
“We know that many of our members were planning to make submissions and this will put them under enormous pressure and will be an impossible deadline for some given that many offices do not return to work until mid January,” Mr Cleland said.
“The Institute urges the committee to reconsider its decision and to push the submission date out to at least the end of February. This would bring it into line with the submission dates for the Climate Change Bill, the Affordable Housing Bill and the Dog Control Bill which also had their first reading this week.
“Good law requires careful deliberation and the weighing of expert evidence, neither of which is possible by 8 February,” Mr Cleland said.
“I attach a copy of the letter I have sent to the Justice and Electoral Committee members objecting to this treatment. The appendix setting out the closing date for submissions of all of the Bills introduced this week tells the story of injustice against giving us a proper right to have a say”

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