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Apr 4, 2017

Legal Action May Come for Amendment to PACT Act

Valerie Woods

Attorney General Senator Michael Peyrefitte confirmed to News Five that as of Friday, March thirty-first, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (Amendment) Act is now law, having been assented to by Governor General Sir Colville Young.  This is despite the upper chamber of the National Assembly, the Senate, voting seven to six against passage of the Act on its second reading.  But might the legislation for a development fee charged to the Consolidated Revenue Fund survive legal challenge?  The Attorney General says he has heard of no such challenge but it may be soon in coming. We put the question to P.U.P. Senator and vocal opponent of the Act, Valerie Woods, when she appeared on Monday’s Open Your Eyes.

 

Valerie Woods, P.U.P. Senator

“When a bill is defeated by the Senate, the House can still, notwithstanding that defeat by the Senate, resolve – important word here, resolve – the House can still resolve to send it onward to the Governor General’s office for assent. Our view, obviously, is that there is no such resolution ‘cause the House has not met. Our view is that when you read Section 78 (1) it does allow for that democratic process because it refers to certain time frames such as within a month. It is a fact that Money Bills don’t get to be stopped by a Senate; but it is also a fact that Money Bills can be debated and sent back for further discussion, improvement – within a month, though, no more than a month – before it gets sent to the Governor General.”

 

Marleni Cuellar, Host

“We’ve seen quite a few times where you have moved to legal action when you feel that something is being done that shouldn’t – has that been considered at this point in time?”

 

Valerie Woods

“Yes. That is being considered, particularly on the grounds of the procedure – that it was not following procedures of Section 78 (1). So I have confirmed that the legal counsels within the Party are closely reviewing everything that has been unfolding since the defeat in the Senate.”

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