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 an absurdity. We are going to go to the people of Cecil Plains, we are going to go to the people around Kingaroy and we are going to go to the people around Dalby and we are going to say to them, 'Well, we want you to be fully confident in the outcome of research that is conducted by a body which is partially sponsored by the federal government to bring about an independent position, and also funded by the mining industry.'
I am not saying for one minute that it is a statement impugning these people's character. My statement is quite clearly one of the perception, which obviously has to be right if people are going to give the outcome of this body credibility. If you cannot deal with the fact that if the perception is wrong then the outcome loses meaning, then can you please explain about other fields where you believe that a conflict of interest is not an issue? Can we get people from the coalition to start advising the Labor Party on tactics? Could that possibly be perceived as a conflict of interest or not?