House debates

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Bills

Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2020-2021; Consideration in Detail

10:57 am

Photo of Terri ButlerTerri Butler (Griffith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water) Share this | Hansard source

Following on from my earlier contribution, I've got some questions for the minister about the inspector-general model in the Murray-Darling Basin and the announcement in respect of a further compliance body being established and separated out from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Those questions are as follows. Minister, when will Australians see proposed legislation to establish the new compliance body? When will an interim inspector-general be appointed, if an interim inspector-general will be appointed? What powers will the interim inspector-general have and what powers will the new, presumably statutory, compliance body have? How will the government secure the cooperation of the other basin jurisdictions with either the interim inspector-general, if one is to be appointed, or, once there is a statutory body, that statutory body, given constitutional constraints? In other words, how can the minister assure the Australian people that whatever compliance arrangements are put in place will be able to be effective and rely on more than just moral suasion?

I welcome the contribution from the member for Nicholls. I also want to talk about the implementation of the plan and the recovery of water that the member touched on. I think everyone in this room would acknowledge that the 450-gigalitre target is just not on track. It's just not. Minister, you spoke about progress in relation to the 450 gigalitres—

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 10:59 to 11:10

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