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 am pleased that there is an amendment coming to deal with land and I am grateful to all the people who negotiated that, including the government. As I have said several times today, what this is about is a committee set up to look at the various problems which will hopefully, after the next amendment, include the impact of salt on land and its use. But it is designed in such a way as if the minister—I had better not dob him in—had said, 'Look, Bill, we don't want to own the problem.' This committee may well provide some really good research—and I would love to be on it—but there is absolutely no compulsion for anyone at any level of government to take any notice. It is a complete farce if it is allowed to just find the evidence and present it but have no powers to compel some of what may be very compelling impacts on the various players, which will mainly be the states.