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
As I said to Senator Heffernan, sometimes you want to mark down those speeches that senators give because you know they are going to be used against you in the future. That was one of them.
You are attempting to define that somebody whose institution receives funding, and they are employed by the institution, then that somehow disqualifies them. If that is your position then you should say that. It is not the position being advocated by this government; it is not the position that we have put forward. But if you are simply putting the proposition forward that if the institution receives the money and then employs a person that should automatically disqualify them—that is your position, Senator Joyce—I am not going to be able to change your mind on that. But the government does not believe that that should automatically disqualify you.
We have in place a proper governance process where people have to advise of a conflict of interest on this committee already, and I would expect that that would be carried through. That is the proper process. If your position is 'just disqualify them', we are going to agree to disagree.