Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. The minister is aware of a proposal from the Chaffey Dam upgrade reference panel to enlarge Chaffey Dam near Tamworth. Minister, given that the New South Wales government, the local council and Peel River irrigators have approved the process, could you inform the House of any policy implications at the federal level that could impact on the enlargement of Chaffey Dam from 62 to 100 gigalitres? Does the minister have any objections to this critical piece of infrastructure for the Tamworth district proceeding?
I thank the honourable member for his question. The provision of water for Tamworth is squarely within the responsibility of the state government. Nonetheless, as the honourable member knows, the proposed expansion of the Chaffey Dam may well bring to bear relevant elements of federal environmental policy, not least of course being the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. When I have a proposal for the expansion of the Chaffey Dam, I will be able to give the honourable member and other members of this House an informed response. At this stage, I do not have a proposal before me.
I cannot tell the honourable member whether I object to something in respect of which I know no more than that which he offered to the House just a few moments ago.