Senate debates

Monday, 22 August 2011

Bills

Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011, Carbon Credits (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011, Australian National Registry of Emissions Units Bill 2011; In Committee

10:28 am

Photo of Nick XenophonNick Xenophon (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

Perhaps we could look at it in another way, and I appreciate the spirit in which the minister answered the question. I think the issue is this—and this is a question I posed on 16 August in this place—how will it be assessed whether a project reduces the production of a particular type of food or grain in a particular area? How does the government take these matters into account? The government is saying that they agree that these are important matters, but that this is not the way to do it. The government is saying, 'Don't assess this on an individual basis.' But I ask for an assurance about how the methodology would work in individual cases. In other words, it seems to me that the risk management process would be irrelevant. I am still not sure how it would apply and that is why I will still maintain this amendment.

I am not sure what the coalition's point of view is in respect of this amendment. But I would have thought that if there is a clear statement of principle in the legislation that if there were to be an adverse impact on the use of water and on fruit production that would place it clearly in the negative list. I do not want to prolong this debate unnecessarily. If the government could explain what assurances they can give in the context of these risk management guidelines about how the methodologies would be individually assessed and what level of transparency and scrutiny there will be, then I guess we can get on and vote on this particular amendment. I am concerned that we are not giving the priority that is required to water security and food production.

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