Senate debates

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development) Bill 2012; Consideration of House of Representatives Message

5:52 pm

Photo of Stephen ConroyStephen Conroy (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

That is what people usually say, Senator Nash! I move:

That the committee does not insist on amendments (2) and (4) to (13) and agrees to the amendments made by the House of Representatives in place of the Senate amendments.

This has a colourful history. The independent—

Senator Birmingham interjecting—

Indeed, Senator Birmingham, you are about to eat some humble pie so I would just shut up!

Senator Birmingham interjecting—

It is always safer to do it that way; you just pretend it has hundreds and thousands on it when you chew down on this one.

The independent scientific committee was always designed to focus on the protection of water resources consistent with the Commonwealth's responsibilities. The coalition contributions in the House of Representatives celebrated the bipartisan approach to the investigation of CSG on water resources. Celebrated it, Senator Birmingham, celebrated it!

The member for Flinders in fact said on 23 May:

… the opposition 'is delighted to provide its support,

… … …

This is a good bill.

The coalition contributions in the other place did not focus on the consequent impacts on land of salinated water resources. Rather, the coalition talked mainly about the physical impact of coal seam gas extraction on the sites of that extraction activity, and issues of access to land for gas exploration and exploitation.

Senator Joyce, when we started the debate in this chamber, celebrated the bipartisan approach to the legislation. He said:

I think it is important that an issue such as coal seam gas rise above a partisan political position and become something that represents a joint concern.

Senator Joyce's words in this place.


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