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senate vote 2012-09-10#2

Edited by system

on 2014-10-07 16:18:07

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against a [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.95.1 Greens amendment] introduced by Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Larissa_Waters&mpc=Senate&house=senate Larissa Waters].
  • This amendment increases the scope of the Committee created by this bill to investigate the various impacts of coal and coal seam gas on water resources at their own initiative, rather than having to be asked to do so by the federal minister.(Senator Waters' discussion about the amendment is available [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.85.1 here]. )
  • Background to the bill
  • The bill establishes an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development ('the Committee')(Read more about the Committee [http://www.environment.gov.au/coal-seam-gas-mining/ here]. ) to provide federal, state and territory governments with scientific advice on coal seam gas and large coal mining developments which may have significant impacts on water resources.(See [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4778 here] for explanatory memoranda and proposed amendments.)
  • References
  • The majority voted against a [Greens amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.95.1) introduced by Senator [Larissa Waters](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Larissa_Waters&mpc=Senate&house=senate).
  • This amendment increases the scope of the Committee created by this bill to investigate the various impacts of coal and coal seam gas on water resources at their own initiative, rather than having to be asked to do so by the federal minister.(Senator Waters' discussion about the amendment is available [here](http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.85.1). )
  • Background to the bill
  • The bill establishes an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development ('the Committee')(Read more about the Committee [here](http://www.environment.gov.au/coal-seam-gas-mining/). ) to provide federal, state and territory governments with scientific advice on coal seam gas and large coal mining developments which may have significant impacts on water resources.(See [here](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4778) for explanatory memoranda and proposed amendments.)
  • References
senate vote 2012-09-10#2

Edited by system

on 2014-10-07 16:16:07

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against a [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.95.1 Greens amendment] introduced by Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Larissa_Waters&mpc=Senate&house=senate Larissa Waters].
  • This amendment increases the scope of the Committee created by this bill to investigate the various impacts of coal and coal seam gas on water resources at their own initiative, rather than having to be asked to do so by the federal minister.[1]
  • This amendment increases the scope of the Committee created by this bill to investigate the various impacts of coal and coal seam gas on water resources at their own initiative, rather than having to be asked to do so by the federal minister.(Senator Waters' discussion about the amendment is available [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.85.1 here]. )
  • Background to the bill
  • The bill establishes an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development ('the Committee')[2] to provide federal, state and territory governments with scientific advice on coal seam gas and large coal mining developments which may have significant impacts on water resources.[3]
  • The bill establishes an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development ('the Committee')(Read more about the Committee [http://www.environment.gov.au/coal-seam-gas-mining/ here]. ) to provide federal, state and territory governments with scientific advice on coal seam gas and large coal mining developments which may have significant impacts on water resources.(See [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4778 here] for explanatory memoranda and proposed amendments.)
  • References
  • * [1] Senator Waters' discussion about the amendment is available [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.85.1 here].
  • * [2] Read more about the Committee [http://www.environment.gov.au/coal-seam-gas-mining/ here].
  • * [3] See [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4778 here] for explanatory memoranda and proposed amendments.
senate vote 2012-09-10#2

Edited by mackay

on 2014-01-30 11:50:56

Title

  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development) Bill 2012; In Committee
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Own initiative

Description

  • The majority voted against a [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.95.1 Greens amendment] introduced by Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Larissa_Waters&mpc=Senate&house=senate Larissa Waters].
  • This amendment increases the scope of the Committee created by this bill to investigate the various impacts of coal and coal seam gas on water resources at their own initiative, rather than having to be asked to do so by the federal minister.[1]
  • Background to the bill
  • The bill establishes an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development ('the Committee')[2] to provide federal, state and territory governments with scientific advice on coal seam gas and large coal mining developments which may have significant impacts on water resources.[3]
  • References
  • * [1] Senator Waters' discussion about the amendment is available [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.85.1 here].
  • * [2] Read more about the Committee [http://www.environment.gov.au/coal-seam-gas-mining/ here].
  • * [3] See [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4778 here] for explanatory memoranda and proposed amendments.
senate vote 2012-09-10#2

Edited by mackay

on 2014-01-30 11:50:32

Title

  • Bills — Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development) Bill 2012; in Committee
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development) Bill 2012; In Committee

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Larissa Waters</p>
  • <p>I rise to speak on Australian Greens amendments (3), (5), (7), (8) and (9) on sheet 7233. They relate to the scope of the committee to set its own agenda, if you like, rather than simply be asked by the federal minister to investigate certain matters. Clearly the importance of this amendment is to enable an independent committee to be independent and to ensure that the relevant experts on the committee&#8212;which sadly do not include public health, following from the vote we just had&#8212;can, of their own volition and their own expert judgement, investigate the various impacts of coal and coal seam gas on water resources.</p>
  • <p>In the government's bill, there are a handful of things that the committee is able to investigate of its own volition. Unfortunately, they are only three out of a reasonably long list, and those are: improving the consistency and comparability of research; publishing information about the development of standards for protecting water resources; and collecting, analysing, interpreting and disseminating scientific information about coal seam gas and water. So my first question, Minister, is: what resourcing will be provided to the committee so that it may have the capacity to perform the functions that, as written, it is currently allowed to perform of its own volition without a reference from either the state or the federal minister?</p>
  • The majority voted against a [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.95.1 Greens amendment] introduced by Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Larissa_Waters&mpc=Senate&house=senate Larissa Waters].
  • This amendment increases the scope of the Committee created by this bill to investigate the various impacts of coal and coal seam gas on water resources at their own initiative, rather than having to be asked to do so by the federal minister.[1]
  • Background to the bill
  • The bill establishes an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development ('the Committee')[2] to provide federal, state and territory governments with scientific advice on coal seam gas and large coal mining developments which may have significant impacts on water resources.[3]
  • References
  • * [1] Senator Waters' discussion about the amendment is available [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-09-10.85.1 here].
  • * [2] Read more about the Committee [http://www.environment.gov.au/coal-seam-gas-mining/ here].
  • * [3] See [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4778 here] for explanatory memoranda and proposed amendments.
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Conroy</p>
  • <p>These amendments are not supported. The committee provides its advice under direction from the appropriate minister of state. This is critical to ensure that the committee's work is focused on the priority issues under its mandate and to ensure consistency with the arrangements agreed between the Commonwealth and states under the national partnership agreement.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Larissa Waters</p>
  • <p>With respect, Minister, why have you then given them some scope for investigations of their own volition if that is your view?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Conroy</p>
  • <p>The Commonwealth minister can direct, but that is entirely consistent with what I said.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Larissa Waters</p>
  • <p>Minister, I draw your attention to proposed section 505D, subsections (1)(e), (f) and (g), where the committee is able, without reference from the federal environment minister, to perform those functions that I listed before. If your rationale is that the committee may not ever use its own judgement, why the existence of those sections?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Conroy</p>
  • <p>I wonder if you could just clarify that question. The officers were not quite sure.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Larissa Waters</p>
  • <p>Certainly. My amendments go to expanding the scope of the committee's work program so that it can do more of its own volition. Your comment in response to my first question was that you thought the committee should not have any of its own discretion to do its own work. My question is: why have you got sections in there that enable it to do so if that is your view?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Conroy</p>
  • <p>I was just consulting with the officers. They are in a position where they could put suggestions to the minister, but essentially the work plan is at the direction of the minister.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Larissa Waters</p>
  • <p>Okay. That is not really what is written in the bill, but if that is how you are intending to interpret it then well and good. I ask that you perhaps clarify that for the officers who will be responsible for implementing these provisions. I have made clear that our view is that this committee, if it is to be a genuinely independent committee, should in fact have its own ability to determine the issues that it considers, and I have moved amendments to that effect. I understand the government does not support those.</p>
  • <p>I would also like to ask you, Minister, while we are looking at this particular section, to clarify. With respect, I raised this with the parliamentary secretary earlier, and there was a little confusion as to the scope of the government's bill, so perhaps you might put beyond doubt the government's response. The scope of this committee to consider impacts of coal and coal seam gas is to my mind very clearly limited by this section to their impacts on water resources. It will not be able to consider the impacts of coal and coal seam gas on anything other than water resources&#8212;land, climate, people or the Great Barrier Reef.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Conroy</p>
  • <p>You're terrifyingly sounding like Senator Heffernan!</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Larissa Waters</p>
  • <p>Can you confirm if my reading of that section is correct?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Conroy</p>
  • <p>I think Senator Heffernan asked a similar question. As I said, you are terrifyingly sounding like him. But I think your interpretation is correct.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Larissa Waters</p>
  • <p>Yes, Senator Heffernan did take up that issue after I raised it in the chamber, and I completely agree with him on that front. I think this committee should expand out its consideration of impacts not just on water resources but to coal and coal seam gas on the environment full stop. I understand the minister's office may have something to say in that regard shortly and I await that with great interest. Without further ado, I seek leave to move amendments (3), (5), (7), (8) and (9) on sheet 7233.</p>
  • <p>Leave granted.</p>
  • <p>I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(3)&#160;&#160;&#160;Schedule 1, item 4, page 5 (line 13), before "within", insert "on its own initiative or".</p>
  • <p class="italic">(5)&#160;&#160;&#160;Schedule 1, item 4, page 5 (line 18), before "within", insert "on its own initiative or".</p>
  • <p class="italic">(7)&#160;&#160;&#160;Schedule 1, item 4, page 5 (lines 24 to 32), omit paragraph 505D(1)(c), substitute:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(c)&#160;&#160;&#160;on its own initiative or at the request of the Environment Minister&#8212;to provide advice to the Environment Minister about:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(i)&#160;&#160;&#160;how bioregional assessments should be conducted in areas where coal seam gas development or large coal mining development is being carried out or is proposed; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(ii)&#160;&#160;&#160;priority areas in which bioregional assessments should be undertaken; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(ca)&#160;&#160;&#160;at the request of the Environment Minister&#8212;to provide advice to the Environment Minister about bioregional assessments commissioned by the Minister;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(8)&#160;&#160;&#160;Schedule 1, item 4, page 5 (line 33), before "at", insert "on its own initiative or".</p>
  • <p class="italic">(9)&#160;&#160;&#160;Schedule 1, item 4, page 6 (line 22), before "at", insert "on its own initiative or".</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Nick Xenophon</p>
  • <p>I indicate that we have just had a vote on the issue of whether land use will be included in terms of the Greens amendments that were defeated. There was a line of questioning of the government by a number of members of the Senate, in particular Senator Heffernan, on the issue of salinity. I think there is a genuine concern that what this bill is intended to do will not be effective unless it also includes the issue of land use. I foreshadow, given the responses of the government in respect of this and discussions I have had with both Senator Heffernan and Senator Waters, that I will be seeking to move quite urgently an amendment on the issue of adding to the scope of what the committee can look at to include not only water resources but land use. I am hoping that that amendment can be circulated very shortly as a direct result of the line of questioning of the government in respect of this. I am very grateful for what Senator Heffernan raised about issues of salinity, because I do not think it has been adequately covered by the responses of the government.</p>
  • <p>I understand that the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities may have something more to say about this shortly, but I think the way to guarantee that this committee will do what it is intended to do is to include references to land use in addition to water resources. So, as a result of the discussions I have had with Senator Heffernan and also a discussion I have just had with the shadow minister for the environment, Mr Hunt, as well as my colleague Senator Waters, I wanted to flag that to my colleagues and to the minister. I think it is important that we get this right and we make sure that it is what it is intended to be: a robust scientific analysis of the impact of coal seam gas. It will be incomplete if it simply includes water resources. It will not necessarily cover the issues of land use&#8212;for instance, the issue of salinity.</p>
  • <p>The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: The question is that Australian Greens amendments (3), (5) and (7) to (9) on sheet 7233 be agreed to.</p>