Monday, 23 June 2014
Infrastructure Australia Amendment Bill 2013; In Committee
I move Greens amendment (14) on sheet 7482:
(14) Schedule 1, item 10, page 8 (line 28), at the end of section 6B, add:
; (c) local communities.
This once again adds local communities as a group that it should consult with in performing its functions. I just hope that Senator Conroy has run into a little bit of an administrative error at about this point and that they do not propose to oppose a Greens amendment that says that local communities are a group that should also be consulted with in performing its functions. This is something that goes to the heart of the way that infrastructure is done. They cannot sit in an office on the other side of the country, dropping infrastructure projects in from Google Earth. These things affect people. They actually affect local communities.
If you travel out, there are instances where this has been done. The best example that I know of was a project that Alannah MacTiernan ran when she was Minister for Planning in Perth. That was a process that went deliberatively into the city of Perth, surrounded a random sample of residents from all quarters of the community with experts and ran an extraordinary process, which came out with a blueprint that was actually very green. You get the right answers if you ask good questions. We are not asking for a great deal more than that. I hope that Senator Conroy now leaps to his feet and says that it has all been a terrible mistake and that local communities are actually materially important when it comes to assessing infrastructure projects. I commend this amendment to the Senate.