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
In no way does this amendment—and I am grateful to the people who have signed up to it and the accommodation that has been made to short cut what is usually due process—need to reflect on the fact that the lower house passed this bill without having discovered that there is a serious hole in it. The only choice would be to vote the bill down without this amendment because, as everybody has pointed out all day, this bill is designed to look at a problem knowing that no-one has to take any action on whatever the outcome of the look at the problem is. But to look at the problem of salt as it affects water without looking at the impact of salt as it affects land and its use, given that salt is the most toxic substance to agriculture, is a serious oversight for which we should forgive ourselves and move the amendment and get on with it.