Senate debates

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Bills

Water Amendment (Long-term Average Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment) Bill 2012; In Committee

9:17 pm

Photo of Nick XenophonNick Xenophon (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

The impact on South Australia may well be ameliorated as a result of the matters raised by the minister. This amendment sought to ensure a level of certainty—a level of guarantee, if you like—that issues of equity and fairness are considered. I guess it will depend on how the $180 million fund will be dealt with and whether it will be fairly distributed in South Australia. I guess it will also depend on what role there will be between governments in terms of water savings and seeking to reduce the impact on those already highly efficient irrigators in order to ensure that sufficient water flows down the river system.

So it is a vexed issue. It seems that what is being proposed is better than the status quo, but that does not necessarily mean a good outcome for South Australia. From my point of view, the option of doing nothing is not a tenable one, but I am hoping that what the minister has outlined, and indeed the sentiments expressed by Senator Joyce, will mean that South Australia will not be unduly disadvantaged. But that is something that I and, I am sure, many of my colleagues will be particular vigilant about.

This bill would have been improved with the amendments I have suggested. I will be seeking to divide in relation to these amendments so that it is a matter of record, but I believe that we need to be particularly vigilant to ensure that South Australia is not unduly disadvantaged as a result of the overall plan and as a result of these adjustments being proposed in the SDL.

The CHAIRMAN: The question is that the amendments moved by Senator Xenophon on sheet 7317 be agreed to.

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