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 think that, given the title of this committee and the fact that it is intended to be independent, it is crucial that the committee be supported with adequate staff—in my view, public servants—to do that work and also that the committee members have security of tenure. Of course, there has been some controversy about the conflicts of interest of the interim committee members. Also, with the nature of the work being part time, one envisages that these committee members will need to undertake other work as well. All of this goes to a reduction in the perceived or actual independence of these committee members. Has the government given any thought to stipulating tenure on the grounds that this is one of the few committees that actually has 'independent' in its title?