Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Water Amendment (Water for the Environment Special Account) Bill 2012; In Committee
My questions went to the removal of the words 'up to' and the legislation before us today, without the Nationals' amendment being agreed to, takes away some flexibility. I have a science degree. I am concerned about being so prescriptive with a number when we do not know so much of the detail. I am confident, Senator Farrell, that our scientific community, water engineers, farmers and environmental scientists will get better at how we use water. So to not put 'up to' in the legislation is being derelict; it is being prescriptive. We could be actually collecting water under this legislation that we do not have to use and that we do not have to take out of communities, simply because you needed to do the deals with the parties you needed to do the deals with. Senator Farrell, it is lovely to hear that you are from Murray Bridge and it is a pity you are not sitting over here on our side of the chamber, maybe as a National Party local member.
Senator Farrell interjecting—
I note your wry smile! Be that as it may.