Thursday, 12 February 2015
Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013; In Committee
The government accepts the amendment proposed by the Greens that Senator Waters just spoke to. We do not necessarily accept all the arguments that Senator Waters has made in that regard. We do believe that it would be preferable were those amendments to have been made, but the government is determined—and Mr Hunt in particular is determined—to ensure that the turtle and dugong protection that the government has pursued and was committed to at the election is delivered upon. We understand that arrangements have been struck with the Australian Greens that will enable those protections to be delivered upon, and we do not want to jeopardise our policy commitment and the serious intention the government has to deliver up on that promise in relation to turtles and dugongs by having it complicated by other matters within this bill.
I thank Senator Waters for her cooperation in working through issues with the government in terms of some of the amendments that were there, and indicate, as I said, the government's acceptance of this amendment from the Greens.