The majority voted against a Greens amendment moved by Senator Larissa Waters.
The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that the Committee created by this bill is properly resourced to do its workload. It adds section 505F that states that: "The staff necessary to assist the Committee are to be persons engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 who are: (a) employed in the Department; and (b) made available for the purpose by the Secretary of the Department."
Senator Waters argued that "it is crucial that the committee be supported with adequate staff—in my view, public servants—to do [their] work."(Read Senator Waters argument and the associated debate here. This particular amendment is referred to as amendment (11) and begins to be discussed at 7:45pm. )
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. ) 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 for explanatory memoranda and proposed amendments.)