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senate vote 2012-11-20#8

Edited by Henare Degan

on 2014-10-10 15:22:19

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2) moved by independent Senator [Nick Xenophon](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Nick_Xenophon&mpc=Senate&house=senate).
  • This means that the majority of senators were against the amendment, which was intended to ensure that the relevant water efficiencies for each area in the basin are taken into account when the authority creates sustainable diversion limits (SDLs). Senator Xenophon was concerned that some "areas are already so water-efficient that there is quite literally not a drop to spare".(See Senator Nick Xenophon's [speech](http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2) for more information about the purpose of the amendment. )
  • Background to the bill
  • The purpose of the [bill](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4884) is to allow the [Murray-Darling Basin Authority](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_Basin_Authority) to make adjustments to the long-term average sustainable diversion limit set by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.(See the [bills digest](http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2012262/upload_binary/2012262.pdf;fileType=application/pdf) (809KB) for more information on the bill and its purpose.) Sustainable diversion limits are the average water quantities that can be taken from the [Murray-Darling basin](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin) sustainably and their aim is to return water to the environment.
  • This division relates to the Policy _[For protecting Australia's fresh water resources](/policies/15)_.
  • The majority voted against an [amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2) moved by independent Senator [Nick Xenophon](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Nick_Xenophon&mpc=Senate&house=senate).
  • This means that the majority of senators were against the amendment, which was intended to ensure that the relevant water efficiencies for each area in the basin are taken into account when the authority creates sustainable diversion limits (SDLs). Senator Xenophon was concerned that some "areas are already so water-efficient that there is quite literally not a drop to spare".(See Senator Nick Xenophon's [speech](http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2) for more information about the purpose of the amendment. )
  • Background to the bill
  • The purpose of the [bill](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4884) is to allow the [Murray-Darling Basin Authority](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_Basin_Authority) to make adjustments to the long-term average sustainable diversion limit set by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.(See the [bills digest](http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2012262/upload_binary/2012262.pdf;fileType=application/pdf) (809KB) for more information on the bill and its purpose.) Sustainable diversion limits are the average water quantities that can be taken from the [Murray-Darling basin](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin) sustainably and their aim is to return water to the environment.
  • References
senate vote 2012-11-20#8

Edited by system

on 2014-10-07 16:18:02

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2 amendment] moved by independent Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Nick_Xenophon&mpc=Senate&house=senate Nick Xenophon].
  • This means that the majority of senators were against the amendment, which was intended to ensure that the relevant water efficiencies for each area in the basin are taken into account when the authority creates sustainable diversion limits (SDLs). Senator Xenophon was concerned that some "areas are already so water-efficient that there is quite literally not a drop to spare".(See Senator Nick Xenophon's [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2 speech] for more information about the purpose of the amendment. )
  • Background to the bill
  • The purpose of the [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4884 bill] is to allow the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_Basin_Authority Murray-Darling Basin Authority] to make adjustments to the long-term average sustainable diversion limit set by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.(See the [http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2012262/upload_binary/2012262.pdf;fileType=application/pdf bills digest] (809KB) for more information on the bill and its purpose.) Sustainable diversion limits are the average water quantities that can be taken from the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin Murray-Darling basin] sustainably and their aim is to return water to the environment.
  • References
  • The majority voted against an [amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2) moved by independent Senator [Nick Xenophon](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Nick_Xenophon&mpc=Senate&house=senate).
  • This means that the majority of senators were against the amendment, which was intended to ensure that the relevant water efficiencies for each area in the basin are taken into account when the authority creates sustainable diversion limits (SDLs). Senator Xenophon was concerned that some "areas are already so water-efficient that there is quite literally not a drop to spare".(See Senator Nick Xenophon's [speech](http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2) for more information about the purpose of the amendment. )
  • Background to the bill
  • The purpose of the [bill](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4884) is to allow the [Murray-Darling Basin Authority](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_Basin_Authority) to make adjustments to the long-term average sustainable diversion limit set by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.(See the [bills digest](http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2012262/upload_binary/2012262.pdf;fileType=application/pdf) (809KB) for more information on the bill and its purpose.) Sustainable diversion limits are the average water quantities that can be taken from the [Murray-Darling basin](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin) sustainably and their aim is to return water to the environment.
  • References
senate vote 2012-11-20#8

Edited by system

on 2014-10-07 16:16:04

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2 amendment] moved by independent Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Nick_Xenophon&mpc=Senate&house=senate Nick Xenophon].
  • This means that the majority of senators were against the amendment, which was intended to ensure that the relevant water efficiencies for each area in the basin are taken into account when the authority creates sustainable diversion limits (SDLs). Senator Xenophon was concerned that some "areas are already so water-efficient that there is quite literally not a drop to spare".[1]
  • This means that the majority of senators were against the amendment, which was intended to ensure that the relevant water efficiencies for each area in the basin are taken into account when the authority creates sustainable diversion limits (SDLs). Senator Xenophon was concerned that some "areas are already so water-efficient that there is quite literally not a drop to spare".(See Senator Nick Xenophon's [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2 speech] for more information about the purpose of the amendment. )
  • Background to the bill
  • The purpose of the [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4884 bill] is to allow the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_Basin_Authority Murray-Darling Basin Authority] to make adjustments to the long-term average sustainable diversion limit set by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.[2] Sustainable diversion limits are the average water quantities that can be taken from the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin Murray-Darling basin] sustainably and their aim is to return water to the environment.
  • The purpose of the [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4884 bill] is to allow the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_Basin_Authority Murray-Darling Basin Authority] to make adjustments to the long-term average sustainable diversion limit set by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.(See the [http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2012262/upload_binary/2012262.pdf;fileType=application/pdf bills digest] (809KB) for more information on the bill and its purpose.) Sustainable diversion limits are the average water quantities that can be taken from the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin Murray-Darling basin] sustainably and their aim is to return water to the environment.
  • References
  • * [1] See Senator Nick Xenophon's [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2 speech] for more information about the purpose of the amendment.
  • * [2] See the [http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2012262/upload_binary/2012262.pdf;fileType=application/pdf bills digest] (809KB) for more information on the bill and its purpose.
senate vote 2012-11-20#8

Edited by mackay

on 2014-01-23 12:19:45

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2 amendment] moved by independent Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Nick_Xenophon&mpc=Senate&house=senate Nick Xenophon].
  • This means that the majority of senators were against the amendment, which was intended to ensure that the relevant water efficiencies for each area in the basin are taken into account when the authority creates sustainable diversion limits (SDLs). Senator Xenophon was concerned that some "areas are already so water-efficient that there is quite literally not a drop to spare".[1]
  • Background to the bill
  • The purpose of the bill is to allow the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_Basin_Authority Murray-Darling Basin Authority] to make adjustments to the long-term average sustainable diversion limit set by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.[2] Sustainable diversion limits are the average water quantities that can be taken from the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin Murray-Darling basin] sustainably and their aim is to return water to the environment.
  • The purpose of the [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4884 bill] is to allow the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_Basin_Authority Murray-Darling Basin Authority] to make adjustments to the long-term average sustainable diversion limit set by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.[2] Sustainable diversion limits are the average water quantities that can be taken from the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin Murray-Darling basin] sustainably and their aim is to return water to the environment.
  • References
  • * [1] See Senator Nick Xenophon's [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2 speech] for more information about the purpose of the amendment.
  • * [2] See the [http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2012262/upload_binary/2012262.pdf;fileType=application/pdf bills digest] (809KB) for more information on the bill and its purpose.
senate vote 2012-11-20#8

Edited by mackay

on 2014-01-23 12:17:15

Title

  • Bills — Water Amendment (Long-Term Average Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment) Bill 2012; in Committee
  • Water Amendment (Long-term Average Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Water efficiency

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Nick Xenophon</p>
  • <p>by leave&#8212;I move amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 7317 standing in my name:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(1) Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 4), after item 7, insert:</p>
  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2 amendment] moved by independent Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Nick_Xenophon&mpc=Senate&house=senate Nick Xenophon].
  • This means that the majority of senators were against the amendment, which was intended to ensure that the relevant water efficiencies for each area in the basin are taken into account when the authority creates sustainable diversion limits (SDLs). Senator Xenophon was concerned that some "areas are already so water-efficient that there is quite literally not a drop to spare".[1]
  • Background to the bill
  • The purpose of the bill is to allow the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_Basin_Authority Murray-Darling Basin Authority] to make adjustments to the long-term average sustainable diversion limit set by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.[2] Sustainable diversion limits are the average water quantities that can be taken from the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray%E2%80%93Darling_basin Murray-Darling basin] sustainably and their aim is to return water to the environment.
  • References
  • * [1] See Senator Nick Xenophon's [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2012-11-20.140.2 speech] for more information about the purpose of the amendment.
  • * [2] See the [http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2012262/upload_binary/2012262.pdf;fileType=application/pdf bills digest] (809KB) for more information on the bill and its purpose.
  • <p class="italic">7A After subsection 22(2)</p>
  • <p class="italic">(2A) In setting a long-term average sustainable diversion limit in relation to a water resource plan area for the purposes of item 6 of the table in subsection (1), the Authority must consider the water efficiency of relevant infrastructure in the water resource plan area before 2007.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(2) Schedule 1, item 10, page 6 (after line 8), after paragraph 23A(2)(b), insert:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(ba) a requirement for the Authority not to propose an adjustment under paragraph (1)(a) in relation to a particular water resource plan area, or an adjustment under paragraph (1)(b) as a result of that adjustment, without considering the water efficiency of relevant infrastructure in the water resource plan area before 2007; and</p>
  • <p>I have just spoken in relation to this matter so I will just specify what these amendments are about. The first amendment amends the Water Act 2007 to insert a new requirement into section 22. This new requirement provides that when setting sustainable diversion limits for water resource plan areas under the bill, the authority must consider the water efficiency of relevant infrastructure in that area before 2007. The intention of this amendment is to ensure that the relevant water efficiencies for each area in the basin are taken into account when the authority creates SDLs.</p>
  • <p>There are areas of the basin that have spent many years increasing their own water efficiency before the grants in recent years&#8212;that $5.8 billion fund&#8212;so that irrigators could make the most out of their decreasing water entitlements. As a result, these areas are already so water-efficient that there is quite literally not a drop to spare. They are not able to take advantage of the current government infrastructure funds as they are already too efficient under the current guidelines and criteria. This amendment reinforces the idea that the most practical and sustainable way to maximise returns to the basin is to focus on areas where efficiencies can be increased and, in turn, less water taken from the basin.</p>
  • <p>The amendment also looks at the efficiency of the area before 2007, which marked the start of significant government grants to improve efficiency in other areas. This cut-off date will ensure that the areas with a long history of efficiency are recognised, whether they are in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria or Queensland.</p>
  • <p>The second amendment seeks to amend that part of the bill that relates to considering the water efficiency of relevant infrastructure in a particular water resource plan area when proposing an adjustment to an SDL. So the rationale behind this amendment is the same as the rationale for the original amendment, although this relates in a sense prospectively to an SDL. Again, the aim of this amendment is to ensure that SDL adjustments are made where there are efficiencies to be gained rather than in areas that are already operating at maximum efficiency.</p>
  • <p>This amendment also looks at the efficiency of the area before 2007 to, again, address the issue of government grants to improve efficiency that were announced at that time as part of the Howard government's plan for the Murray-Darling Basin. These efficiencies must be recognised so that adjustments to the SDLs can be made where those adjustments can be achieved so that areas already operating at peak efficiency are not penalised under the SDL system.</p>
  • <p>Currently, the premise of the Basin Plan seems to be that all areas are equally inefficient and that the entire system can be improved. This is clearly not correct, and continuing on this path will mean that many irrigators who have simply tried to do the right thing and survive with what water allocations they have will be penalised. The authority and its associated legislation must recognise the varying efficiencies in the basin and what this means for the real application of theories, such as the SDLs. If they do not, then that means that the plan will be skewed against those who have done the right thing in the past. When I asked the authority about this issue during Senate estimates, they glibly said, 'Every area says they are water efficient.' Well, this allows them to consider that in a way that is robust, independent and, in a sense, auditable. It is important that there be a system to consider this. These amendments require consideration of prior water efficiency methods, and I commend these amendments to my colleagues.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Joe Ludwig</p>
  • <p>The government does acknowledge the work of Senator Xenophon in this area. Unfortunately, we have not found favour with the amendments in part for a couple of the reasons he described himself. The government, however, does believe it is already achieving the intent of these amendments through proposing that the downstream component of the sustainable diversion limit in the basin plan be apportioned between the states. This approach was outlined in Minister Burke's suggestion to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority on 1 November 2012.</p>
  • <p>The government has announced funding for two major new programs in South Australia. There is a funding program of $180 million for the River Murray improvement program to help improve irrigation efficiency in South Australia and yield 36 gigalitres of savings towards bridging the gap. The second is a further $85 million for the industry futures and regional development research program in South Australia, which is commonly known as SA industry futures, to support industry development and structural adjustment activities in SA Murray.</p>
  • <p>The government wants to deliver certainty for the environment, communities and irrigators in the Murray-Darling Basin and is seeking to progress the bill without change to deliver that certainty. For those reasons, the government will not be supporting the amendments moved by Senator Xenophon.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Barnaby Joyce</p>
  • <p>With due respect for the work of Senator Xenophon in understanding the issues that he brings to light, it is our belief that in the competencies for some of these assessments being placed on the MDBA that the government should certainly consider the water efficiency of various infrastructure before making decisions on water resource plans, but this was not the intended role of the MDBA. The MDBA has been tasked with establishing how much water is needed for the environment, not how the water is to be recovered. The government department and the appropriate bodies have the information about the efficiency of water infrastructure in different parts of the Basin and it should be left to them to inform these decisions.</p>
  • <p>We lobbied and negotiated to have ministerial discretion placed back in this bill&#8212;and we attained that. As such, it gives us greater confidence about how some of the issues that Senator Xenophon brought to our attention will be addressed. We also note the investments that will be made by the plan in its current form in bridging the gap. We think that greater attention should be applied to making sure that that money is efficiently spent. We have had discussions thus far&#8212;brought up by my colleague Senator Birmingham&#8212;about the money that seems to be disappearing out of the funds towards administration and not actually delivering outcomes, further loading up the MDBA with assessments. Once more, with an understanding of Senator Xenophon's role&#8212;and we respect that role&#8212;the coalition, in this instance, will not be supporting these amendments.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Sarah Hanson-Young</p>
  • <p>I rise to offer my support for the amendments put forward by Senator Xenophon. The points made around the previous work that has been done in South Australia are really important. Ensuring that we can have that understanding, for all the arguments outlined by Senator Xenophon about the previous level of water efficiency, is absolutely crucial. The Greens will be supporting Senator Xenophon's amendments.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Nick Xenophon</p>
  • <p>The minister mentioned the $180 million program and another $85 million to support industry development for South Australia. I think this is part of the Water Industry Alliance project and I commend the work of those in the Water Industry Alliance&#8212;people such as Gavin McMahon, Ben Haslett and, I dare say, Chris Byrne and many others&#8212;who worked very hard on this. My question to the minister is: have the criteria for that program been determined yet? There is a real fear that they will not be fair criteria, that South Australians will have the same problems they have had previously because of the high levels of efficiency they have already achieved. My second question is: what does this actually mean in the scope of the recovery sought from the southern connected basin? From memory, it is in the order of 971 gigalitres, and I will be corrected by the minister if that is wrong. Will some of that be sought in addition to the 36 gigalitres that Minister Ludwig has referred to?</p>
  • <p>In summary, the issues are: what are the criteria for this $180 million fund and, indeed, for the further $85 million? Have they been finalised at this stage or, if not, when will they be finalised? What consultation will there be? And in relation to further cuts in South Australia, I note that in some areas such as the Central Irrigation Trust their efficiency levels are at 97 or 99 per cent in terms of water delivery and water efficiency measures. Will South Australians be subject to further cuts to achieve that 971-gigalitre target? Those are the fundamental issues I have in relation to this. I would also like to acknowledge and thank Senator Hanson-Young and the Australian Greens for their support for these amendments.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Joe Ludwig</p>
  • <p>In respect of the first question, on the $180 million, the work is still being undertaken between South Australia and the Commonwealth. As to when it will be available, as usual these are matters for Minister Burke to announce, I would expect as soon as practicable. In terms of stakeholder consultation, that is again a matter between the South Australian government and the Commonwealth government to determine. On the second question, I am advised that we do not have the figures on the amount of the apportionment, but I can take that on notice and provide that when it is available.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Nick Xenophon</p>
  • <p>I am concerned that the figures for the apportionment are not available. I would have thought it would be of crucial interest to all the basin states, of crucial interest at a national level and of particular interest in my home state of South Australia. I would have thought that level of apportionment would be a key issue. I appreciate the dialogue I have had with both the government and the opposition in relation to this and I appreciate the time that I had earlier today with Minister Burke. I understand what the government have said about their approach to dealing with this, but when will the apportionment figures be announced, firstly, and where does that leave issues of the 971 gigalitres being sought from the southern connected basin? Is that still the figure being sought in terms of water recovery from the southern connected basin?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Joe Ludwig</p>
  • <p>Perhaps the easiest way to explain this is if you look at chapter 6, 'Apportionment of the shared SDL surface water reductions', it says 'in South Australia 8.5 per cent of the total' and 82.8 gigalitres of the 971 gigalitres per annum is that. To facilitate the apportionment it will come out of the 36 gigalitres. I wonder if that provides some assistance. As I said, if that does not answer your question then you might want to rephrase it and I will take it on notice.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Nick Xenophon</p>
  • <p>I appreciate that the minister is genuinely trying to be helpful in relation to this, as are the departmental officers, but does that mean 82.8 gigalitres will be taken out of the state of South Australia's allocation and then you subtract 36 gigalitres? I am just trying to get a fix on how that will operate. Will that fulfil the 971 gigalitres figure that has been referred to by the minister? Insofar as the minister is not able to answer this further, will the minister undertake to provide an answer to that question on the record, so that it is a matter of unambiguous public record, and there is some clarity with respect to this?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Joe Ludwig</p>
  • <p>If you work through the figures, of the 82, 36 will come off that. There is&#8212;I will use rough language&#8212;about 40 still there, but the figures mean that there has probably also been some savings. Some of the 40 has already been recovered, so that will lower that down again, but they have not got the precise figure as to what that balance would be and I am certainly not going to take an opportunity to guess it tonight. As I said, when they settle those figures I am sure they will publish them and provide them to the Senate.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Nick Xenophon</p>
  • <p>Finally in relation to this, could I have an undertaking from the minister that those figures will be published and provided to the Senate. I ask that a copy be provided to my office and, of course, to my colleagues in relation to this matter, because obviously it is a critical issue in terms of the actual figures involved. Unless any of my colleagues seek to make a contribution to this, I think I have taken it as far as I can. I have heard from the relevant parties in relation to this, but I still have a grave concern that those regions in the river system that have already been historically much more water efficient than other regions&#8212;and I am not criticising those regions that have had open channels for a whole range of reasons but that are now being assisted with the water efficiency infrastructure fund&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Sarah Hanson-Young</p>
  • <p>Billions of dollars.</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>