House debates

Monday, 9 December 2013


Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013; Consideration in Detail

8:02 pm

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill and move government amendments (1) and (2), as circulated, together:

(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (lines 4 and 5), omit the heading.

(2) Schedule 1, item 1, page 3 (lines 6 to 14), omit the item, substitute:

1 Non -compliance with requirement to have regard to any approved conservation advice before 31 December 2013

  If a provision of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 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.

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.

I commend the amendments to the House. I note that they represent a healthy spirit of cooperation.


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