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
by leave—I move Greens amendments (4) and (6) on sheet 7233 together:
(4) Schedule 1, item 4, page 5 (line 17), at the end of paragraph 505D(1)(a), add ", and any associated environmental and health impacts".
(6) Schedule 1, item 4, page 5 (line 23), at the end of paragraph 505D(1)(b), add ", and any associated environmental and health impacts".
These amendments go to the committee's scope of consideration. The amendments add public health and environmental impacts to the list of issues that the committee has to consider and advise the various ministers on. There seems to have been some movement in that respect by the government and the opposition, which I welcome. Their amendments do not quite go as far as these amendments, but we will come to those amendments later and certainly the Greens will be supporting those. I welcome the reconsideration by both sides of the chamber of the scope of the committee's work. It is important that this committee be charged with looking at as many issues surrounding coal and coal seam gas as possible, although I note that it is unfortunate that that does not remedy the fact that the federal minister is unable to act on the advice of this committee where there are water impacts only as opposed to impacts also on other matters that are protected by our environmental laws already.