Monday, 10 September 2012
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development) Bill 2012; In Committee
I have a number of questions for the minister. I will then, by leave, move some of my amendments. But firstly I am interested in the fact that this bill sets up a committee under federal laws to effectively advise state governments. Just having a squiz through the wording of the bill, I see there is nothing in the bill that compels the states to seek advice from this committee. The only compulsion is contained in the national partnership agreement on CSG, which of course has a $50,000 price tag attached to it if states agree to sign up. So my question is: was any consideration given to reflecting that mandatory nature in the actual bill itself? Secondly, can you please update us as to whether the states have indeed legislated for the need to consider this committee's advice?