Senate debates

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bills

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

9:49 am

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

The bill enables the Basin Plan to include an adjustment mechanism that can both decrease the sustainable diversion limit making more water available for the environment and increase the SDL reducing the amount of environmental water needing to be recovered. This amendment would restrict the mechanism to operate only one way and does not recognise that there are ways in which environmental water can be used more efficiently while achieving equivalent environmental outcomes.

The government supports an approach that both provides for environmental water to be used as efficiently as possible while maintaining the environmental outcomes of the Basin Plan and makes further environmental water available improving the environmental outcomes of the basin. Making this further water available is to be done in a manner that maintains or improves the social and economic outcomes in the basin. The five per cent limit is necessary to provide assurance about the range of change permissible under this plan.

(The Chairman—Senator Parry)

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