05 May 2006

Where is the PetroNewf bill?

In the current sitting of the House of Assembly, Bill No. 1 is an amendment to the Hydro Corporation Act which will set up the Crown-owned electricity company to tackle wind-power generation and get into the oil and gas business.

The amendment bill received first reading on March 22, 2006, right after the Throne Speech opening the new session of the legislature.

That is how important this bill was touted as being.

So far it hasn't proceeded to second reading. In the meantime, the budget bill has been passed along with an interim supply measure. Likewise, a raft of bills have gone to second reading since the House resumed sitting on Monday past after the Easter recess.

But still no Bill no. 1.

So what's the reason for the delay?


Update: Perhaps the delay has to do with the failed Hebron deal. Perhaps the Hydro Act amendments were supposed to give effect to the equity position and since the deal collapsed there is nothing else to bring forward.

It is noticeable that government set the Hydro bill as its first piece of legislation, before the interim supply act carried from the old session that ended the day before the Throne Speech. It preceded the supply motion and any of a number of bills that might be considered weightier.

It is also noticeable that this week, a series of modest pieces of legislation have received first reading and been posted to the House of Assembly website under the heading "progress of bills". Since 22 March, and having already passed first reading, the Hydro bill is a secret.

so where is it?