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

11:01 am

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray Darling Basin) Share this | Hansard source

I am sure that it will at times be both and that you will exercise the office with the aplomb to which we are so accustomed. In regard to this amendment moved by Senator Xenophon to the reporting requirements within this bill, the opposition are not inclined to support this particular amendment. I think we probably share some of the concerns that the minister has just outlined. In regard to the eligible offset projects that we are talking about, a period of reporting for them of between 12 months and five years is probably an appropriate time line. Whilst five years has the potential to be a long period of time, equally, in regard to the establishment of and the progress of these sorts of projects, it is not necessarily an inordinate period of time. It is going to be a matter of balance. Different projects will have different time lines which it will be most appropriate for them to meet, but obviously where it is possible and sensible for projects to meet a five-year time line then that is probably wise. The well-established projects may need fairly minimal work to make their reports. It is going to be argued in either direction whether they should report more often or less often, but well-established projects probably need less oversight and checking once they are well established and their credentials have been acknowledged. So we think that shortening, in a sense, the mandatory reporting period to less than three years would not aid the efficient running and efficient management of this scheme and as a result we would join with the government in thinking that the five-year time line is appropriate to maintain.

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