11 Dec 2010

Parliament to sit in urgency at weekend

6:23 am on 11 December 2010

Parliament remains in urgency to make progress on, and pass a range of bills, and will continue to sit at the weekend.

Legislation paving the way for the Government's broadband programme passed its first reading on Friday and will be sent to a select committee.

The House then spent most the day debating tax legislation.

Labour Party MPs filibustered during the bill, arguing that late amendments should have had scrutiny at the select committee stage.

The amendments abolish loss-attributing qualifying companies and set up a new entity known as a look-through company which will restrict the losses shareholders in a company can claim.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne told the House the changes were signalled in May.

The legislation passed its final reading just after 9pm.

MPs then began debating the Biosecurity Law Reform Bill which updates the Biosecurity Act.

Biosecurity Minister David Carter told the House the act needed to be updated to allow the biosecurity system to respond to an increasingly challenging environment.

The bill passed its first reading and will now be considered by the Primary Production select committee.

MPs moved on to begin debating a bill which seeks to ban the retail display of tobacco products.

Parliament will rise at midnight and resume at 9am on Saturday.