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
This is the interim committee providing advice to states that do not need to take account of it and to a federal minister who does not have the right to act on that advice and impose any relevant conditions. I am afraid that does not really reassure me that this committee is currently functioning with any teeth. And sadly we have already discussed that the teeth that it will have, come March 2013, are simply that the states will need to 'take account of' the advice—and, again, that means virtually nothing. I wonder what the enforcement provisions are. What happens if the states do not take account of this advice? Has the Commonwealth turned its mind to whether there will be any consequences?