Senate debates

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Bills

Water Amendment (Water for the Environment Special Account) Bill 2012; In Committee

10:53 am

Photo of Sarah Hanson-YoungSarah Hanson-Young (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

Despite the hyperbole of Senator Joyce, I would just like to indicate that these amendments highlight what the environmental indicators are to ensure that the plan is meeting its objectives. If the whole point of the plan is to return the river system to health, then you need to know what that health looks like and that is precisely what these amendments do. We have all agreed that we want to return the river to health. You actually have to put some indicators down—and Senator Joyce has indicated that he disagrees with that. That just proves that the coalition have absolutely no commitment to ensuring that the plan, as currently constructed, would fulfil its objectives. These amendments state very clearly in environmental terms what those objectives are. Either you believe them or you do not. Either you think that is what we are meant to achieve or you use as many weasel words as possible to ensure that you do not have to deliver. As a senator for South Australia I know that, unless we have these environmental targets identified and accepted, then the upstream states will continue to just dismiss the environmental concerns downstream, where we are, particularly when the next drought happens.

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