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representatives vote 2013-12-09#4

Edited by mackay

on 2014-10-09 15:31:38

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1) that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [Adam Bandt](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives).
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • _Debate in Parliament_
  • - Liberal MP [Greg Hunt](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives) [said](http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1) that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • - Labor MP [Mark Butler](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives) [said](http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1) that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • _Background to the bill_
  • The [Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128) was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in _Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities_ () FCA 694.(The [Tarkine](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine) is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [case note](http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx). The case is available to read on [AustLII](http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query=).)
  • References
  • The majority voted against an [amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1) that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [Adam Bandt](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives).
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • _Debate in Parliament_
  • - Liberal MP [Greg Hunt](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives) [said](http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1) that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • - Labor MP [Mark Butler](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives) [said](http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1) that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • _Background to the bill_
  • The [Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128) was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in _Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities_ () FCA 694.(The [Tarkine](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine) is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [case note](http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx). The case is available to read on [AustLII](http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query=).)
representatives vote 2013-12-09#4

Edited by system

on 2014-10-07 16:21:28

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1 amendment] that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives Adam Bandt].
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • ''Debate in Parliament''
  • * Liberal MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives Greg Hunt] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1 said] that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • * Labor MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives Mark Butler] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1 said] that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • ''Background to the bill''
  • The [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128 Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013] was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' () FCA 694.(The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note]. The case is available to read on [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= AustLII].)
  • References
  • The majority voted against an [amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1) that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [Adam Bandt](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives).
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • _Debate in Parliament_
  • - Liberal MP [Greg Hunt](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives) [said](http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1) that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • - Labor MP [Mark Butler](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives) [said](http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1) that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • _Background to the bill_
  • The [Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128) was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in _Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities_ () FCA 694.(The [Tarkine](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine) is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [case note](http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx). The case is available to read on [AustLII](http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query=).)
  • References
representatives vote 2013-12-09#4

Edited by system

on 2014-10-07 16:16:56

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1 amendment] that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives Adam Bandt].
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • ''Debate in Parliament''
  • * Liberal MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives Greg Hunt] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1 said] that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • * Labor MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives Mark Butler] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1 said] that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • ''Background to the bill''
  • The [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128 Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013] was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' [2013] FCA 694.[1]
  • The [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128 Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013] was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' () FCA 694.(The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note]. The case is available to read on [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= AustLII].)
  • References
  • * [1] The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note]. The case is available to read on [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= AustLII].
representatives vote 2013-12-09#4

Edited by mackay

on 2014-01-04 12:46:25

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1 amendment] that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives Adam Bandt].
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • ''Debate in Parliament''
  • * Liberal MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives Greg Hunt] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1 said] that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • * Labor MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives Mark Butler] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1 said] that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • ''Background to the bill''
  • The [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128 Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013] was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= [2013] FCA 694].[1]
  • The [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128 Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013] was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' [2013] FCA 694.[1]
  • References
  • * [1] The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note].
  • * [1] The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note]. The case is available to read on [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= AustLII].
representatives vote 2013-12-09#4

Edited by mackay

on 2014-01-04 12:45:20

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1 amendment] that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives Adam Bandt].
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • ''Debate in Parliament''
  • * Liberal MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives Greg Hunt] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1 said] that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • * Labor MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives Mark Butler] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1 said] that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • ''Background to the bill''
  • The [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128 Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013] was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' [2013] FCA 694].[1]
  • The [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128 Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013] was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= [2013] FCA 694].[1]
  • References
  • * [1] The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note].
representatives vote 2013-12-09#4

Edited by mackay

on 2014-01-04 12:43:34

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1 amendment] that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives Adam Bandt].
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • ''Debate in Parliament''
  • Liberal MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives Greg Hunt] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1 said] that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • * Liberal MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives Greg Hunt] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1 said] that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • Labor MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives Mark Butler] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1 said] that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • * Labor MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives Mark Butler] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1 said] that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • ''Background to the bill''
  • The [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128 Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013] was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' [2013] FCA 694].[1]
  • References
  • * [1] The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note].
representatives vote 2013-12-09#4

Edited by mackay

on 2014-01-04 12:42:20

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1 amendment] that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives Adam Bandt].
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • ''Debate in Parliament''
  • Liberal MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives Greg Hunt] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1 said] that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • Labor MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives Mark Butler] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1 said] that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • ''Background to the bill''
  • The Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' [2013] FCA 694].[1]
  • The [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5128 Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013] was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' [2013] FCA 694].[1]
  • References
  • * [1] The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note].
  • * [1] The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note].
representatives vote 2013-12-09#4

Edited by mackay

on 2014-01-04 12:41:57

Title

  • Bills — Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013; Consideration in Detail
  • Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 - Consideration in Detail - Keep power to make major environmental approvals with federal minister

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Greg Hunt</p>
  • <p>by leave&#8212;I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill and move government amendments (1) and (2), as circulated, together:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (lines 4 and 5), omit the heading.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(2) Schedule 1, item 1, page 3 (lines 6 to 14), omit the item, substitute:</p>
  • <p class="italic">1 Non -compliance with requirement to have regard to any approved conservation advice before 31 December 2013</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;If a provision of the <i>Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999</i> requires the Minister to have regard to any approved conservation advice, then a thing is not invalid merely because the Minister failed, when doing the thing or anything related to the thing at any time before 31 December 2013, to have regard to any relevant approved conservation advice.</p>
  • <p>As I indicated earlier on during the summation on the second reading debate, these amendments have been considered in discussion with the opposition. They represent two elements. They represent an agreement that we will ensure that there is adequate coverage and protection for those matters which were determined by the previous government and will continue to be considered by the present government until 31 December of this year. It is done so that technical challenges are not used as a means of overcoming substantive decisions. This could cost, literally, millions and millions of dollars in litigation fees as well as tens of millions of dollars in delays to properly approved and considered projects. It is done in a spirit of cooperation and consideration. The amendments, in particular, sunset this clause as of 31 December this year. That has been done at the request of and in consideration of the points raised by the opposition.</p>
  • <p>I commend the amendments to the House. I note that they represent a healthy spirit of cooperation.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Mark Butler</p>
  • <p>I thank the minister for his remarks and for giving us notice of this late amendment on the government's part. I will make a few remarks about the origin of this amendment. It has its origin in a decision of the Federal Court earlier this year which invalidated a decision of the former minister, or the then minister, on the grounds that the conservation advice for a listed species, the Tasmanian devil, which was impacted by the controlled action submitted for approval, had not been placed before the minister at the time he made the approval decision. It is quite clear from reading the Federal Court decision and from reading the minister's decision on that matter that he had very extensive regard to the position of the Tasmanian devil and the potential impact of the controlled action on the Tasmanian devil, which is obviously a threatened species in Tasmania&#8212;and a very high-profile threatened species.</p>
  • <p>If you look at the decision you will see that there are a number of conditions imposed by the minister on the controlled action to take account of the position that the Tasmanian devil is in in Tasmania, which I think all members of the House know is relatively precarious. I think it is fair to say that the Federal Court decision, with the greatest respect, was something of a technicality. It is quite clear that all of the information contained in the conservation advice was before the minister in other forms through a lengthy process of his consideration of this application. So the full gravamen of those matters in the conservation advice were reflected in his decision.</p>
  • <p>The opposition is willing to support this amendment to give some certainty to controlled actions, which have been considered in the past&#8212;often through lengthy and expensive processes of EIS and public consultation and other processes&#8212;to ensure that those controlled actions comply with the spirit and, as far as possible, the letter of the EPBC Act. I think it is a good compromise that the minister has proposed, and we are willing to support it. We would not have supported an amendment that would have barred any legal action, ad infinitum, into the future because a minister had not had a conservation advice placed in front of him or her. This is a strong compromise, and the opposition will support this amendment.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Adam Bandt</p>
  • <p>There is something going on here, and it deserves far more scrutiny than it is being given at this moment. This amendment will apply retrospectively and it will say that, for any decision that has been made until now, it does not matter if the minister did not pay any regard to expert conservation advice about how a species can be threatened. They will be off the hook. It has to be about more than the case that is being litigated in the court at the moment, because that has been adjudicated upon.</p>
  • <p>If you are at all thinking that this is some conspiracy theory, the minister let the cat out of the bag when, in his surprise at Labor's changing its position, said this a few moments ago in his second reading summing up speech: 'This amendment is fixing up the mess caused by the previous government. We are helping them out. There could potentially be more challenges based on technicalities. These could cause endless delay without having had the substantive base for improper decision making. We know that the other side'&#8212;that is, Labor&#8212;'is in agreement with this. What they are doing at the moment is in breach of what we understood to be the direction they would head in.' Then he said that everything that has happened until now will give you an out-clause. So presumably some decisions have been made without taking regard of the expert conservation advice. The minister should get up and say what those decisions are.</p>
  • <p>If we are being asked at no notice, at 10 past eight at night, to give this government and previous governments an out-clause, and the minister says, 'It's because there are potential grounds for challenges to decisions,' then simply as a matter of honesty and disclosure to this House, let alone good decision making&#8212;given that the minister just a few moments ago said there are potential legal challenges which could be made unless we rush this amendment through&#8212;it is now incumbent on the minister to say what those decisions are. What are the decisions that have been made by the previous government or by this government prior to today that are potentially the subjects of this amendment? The minister will have ample opportunity to answer that specifically. We are not interested in generalities. We know that one decision has been before the Federal Court, but he has let the cat out of the bag, so now he should explain to us exactly what is being covered up in this sordid late-night deal between Labor and the coalition to exclude the best practice environmental laws that have been in place for some time. If he does not answer or get up a couple more times during this detail stage to answer, perhaps the shadow minister at the table, who might have been the minister at the relevant time of any decision, would care to answer. Obviously&#8212;and we know this from the <i>Hansard</i>discussions have gone on to try to get the government out from under bad decisions that have been made, and we have the right to know what they are. That is the first point, and I am waiting to hear from the minister or the shadow minister as to what the decisions are that are going to be affected by this.</p>
  • <p>Secondly, the minister in his summing up said, 'We are not even requiring that this protection apply to us.' The minister said this was about the previous administration: the former Labor government before 7 September. If that is right, then perhaps the minister can explain why the amendment says it applies to decisions that are made any time before 31 December 2013. I say this with respect to the minister: it cannot be the case that he is seeking this only to apply to previous administrations, because the amendment he is moving says '31 December'. Many, many decisions can be made between now and 31 December. We know that Abbott Point is one of them. Perhaps the minister can explain, given that he will have ample opportunity to do so, why he said in his summing up that he is only seeking this with respect to the previous government but moving an amendment that applies until 31 December. Everyone should be very worried about this last-minute deal that has been done between Labor and the coalition to weaken our environment protection laws. <i>(Time expired)</i></p>
  • <p class="speaker">Greg Hunt</p>
  • <p>Very briefly, I can assure the House that, in relation to any specific decisions of previous governments, I have no advice either formally or informally that pertains to any particular decision. This legislation was brought in on the advice that the previous processes could always have been open to challenge on technicalities. There is no specific information. I say that as a formal point in this chamber, with all of the rules of the House.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Adam Bandt</p>
  • <p>As I expected might happen, the minister referred to one part of what I said and not to another. The minister said in his summing up that he is not requiring that the protection apply to the current government. If that is the case, why doesn't the amendment read 'at any time before 7 September'? Will the minister now, in accordance with what he told the House a few moments ago in his second reading speech, agree to amend his amendment that is currently on the floor and change '31 December' to '7 September'?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Greg Hunt</p>
  • <p>Very briefly: this has been done to provide certainty and to deal with all of those that are currently in the pipeline. There are no games and no tricks. We set this out as a long-term process, and, in the spirit of cooperation with the opposition, to ensure that past decisions were not subject to being overturned on technicalities we have agreed on this approach. It is as simple as that.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Adam Bandt</p>
  • <p>I have a further question for the minister. Does the minister accept that, if the amendment that he is moving is passed, he will be able to make a decision with respect to Abbott Point without having to have any regard to expert conservation advice?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Greg Hunt</p>
  • <p>Actually, I can guarantee that every decision I have taken and every decision I will take is made with reference to expert conservation advice, in the presence of the conservation advice and after consideration of the conservation advice. This was a position inherited as a consequence of the previous legal decision. So I can give the guarantee on the floor of this House&#8212;again, subject to all of the strictures which apply to ministerial statements on the floor of this House&#8212;that all decisions that are relevant to date have been taken with consideration of the conservation advice, in the presence of the conservation advice and through examination of the conservation advice and that will continue to be my practice.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Adam Bandt</p>
  • <p>I will ask the minister again: when he said in his second reading debate summing up, 'We are helping them out,' referring to the previous Labor government, in what way is he going to be helping the previous Labor government out by passing this amendment?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Greg Hunt</p>
  • <p>I think this will be my final intervention. The point here is that decisions were taken by the previous government. They were taken in the manner to which I do not have insight&#8212;that is, not something that is known to me. Again, I give that undertaking. But on the basis of the court case in question&#8212;on the basis that that applies to at least one case&#8212;there could have been massive uncertainty to projects already begun on any possible number of cases. I do not know which they are because I have no insight into the decision-making process or the decision-making documents of the previous government. That is the convention on the passage of government.</p>
  • <p>What we have done is, very simply, to try to provide certainty in the Australian economy&#8212;certainty to projects mad&#8212;and to uphold the existing standards whilst also applying to ourselves the highest standards. So we deal with the conservation advices. They are present, they are examined and they inform the advice of the department. That has been the practice since the formation of government, and that will be the continuing practice as we proceed.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Mark Butler</p>
  • <p>I feel obliged to respond to some of the comments from the member for Melbourne about the minister potentially moving this amendment to help us out. I did not hear those remarks when the minister introduced this amendment. They reflect on our party, so I feel the need to respond to them. I assure the House that in no way are we supporting this amendment through any sense of being helped out by the minister and that I do not understand that to be his primary motivation at all.</p>
  • <p>As I tried to indicate when outlining the history of this decision, this, in our very clear view, was a decision taken on the basis of a technicality by the Federal Court. There was a very detailed, lengthy&#8212;exhaustive, I dare say&#8212;process of considering the impact on threatened species, particularly in this case the Tasmanian Devil, of this controlled action. Reasonable people might disagree about the outcome of that decision, but there is no question that can be legitimately asked about whether or not the impact on this threatened species was considered in great detail.</p>
  • <p>The reason we are supporting this amendment is that there were potentially a number of other controlled actions. I do not know how many, and I do not know their circumstances. But, potentially, given the nature of the Federal Court decision, a number of controlled actions in the past which may go back quite some considerable time went through very lengthy, expensive and exhaustive processes of consideration under the EPBC Act and are now fairly well advanced. In good faith the decision of the then minister should now be given that certainty. If we took the view that the decision by the Federal Court was anything more than a technicality and that there was something substantively missing from the process which was undertaken by the department and by the minister, we would not be supporting this amendment. We do not take that view, and that is why we support it.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Adam Bandt</p>
  • <p>I give the minister one final opportunity to amend the date so that it does not apply to decisions that might be made prospectively by him from between now and the end of the year.</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>
  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.144.1 amendment] that would ensure that the federal government kept the power to make major environmental approvals rather than handing that power over to state governments. The amendment was introduced by Greens MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Adam_Bandt&mpc=Melbourne&house=representatives Adam Bandt].
  • This means that the majority of MPs disagreed with the amendment.
  • ''Debate in Parliament''
  • Liberal MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Greg_Hunt&mpc=Flinders&house=representatives Greg Hunt] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.145.1 said] that the government rejects the amendment because "we support one-stop shops".
  • Labor MP [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Mark_Butler&mpc=Port_Adelaide&house=representatives Mark Butler] [http://www.openaustralia.org/debate/?id=2013-12-09.146.1 said] that the Labor Party supported the amendment because the national environment minister should always have the capacity to deal with matters of national environmental significance.
  • ''Background to the bill''
  • The Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 was introduced in response to the Federal Court’s decision in [http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2013/694.html?query= ''Tarkine National Coalition Incorporated v Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities'' [2013] FCA 694].[1]
  • References
  • * [1] The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarkine Tarkine] is an area in north west Tasmania. For more information on the case, see this [http://www.nela.org.au/NELA/Recent_Developments/2013_August_Case_Notes.aspx case note].