Senate debates

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Bills

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

12:19 pm

Photo of Bridget McKenzieBridget McKenzie (Victoria, National Party) Share this | Hansard source

Okay—I am just clarifying that, because I am. If we are not going to legislate flexibility into the number and if we have failed to put into the legislation no socioeconomic detriment, then I think it is fair enough that I ask the people who are doing the purchasing and who are asking us to trust them—asking our communities to trust—about the water that has already been purchased from irrigation districts. My understanding from my conversations within communities, particularly in northern Victoria and also evident throughout the inquiry into this piece of legislation, is that the lack of trust is out there. I simply want to give the government the opportunity to put on the record why basin communities should trust that it is not going to come at socioeconomic detriment. It is as simple as that.

Given that I doubt I am going to get an answer around the socioeconomic impact of the water already removed around this issue, I ask the minister what he thinks the impact is of environmental science research and development on watering environmental assets? Obviously, water engineering innovation will have an impact on the use of water not only for agricultural purposes but in watering environmental assets efficiently and effectively.

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