Senate debates

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Select Committee on the Murray Darling Basin Plan; Appointment

3:47 pm

Photo of Bob DayBob Day (SA, Family First Party) Share this | Hansard source

I, and also on behalf of Senators Wang, Leyonhjelm, Heffernan, Lambie, Muir and Madigan, move:

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on the Murray Darling Basin Plan be established to inquire into and report, on or before 26 February 2016, on the positive and negative impacts of the Murray Darling Basin Plan and associated Commonwealth programs on regional communities, with particular reference to:

(a) the implementation of the plan, including:

  (i) its progress,

  (ii) its costs, especially those related to further implementation,

  (iii) its direct and indirect effects on agricultural industries, local businesses and community wellbeing, and

  (iv) any evidence of environmental changes to date;

(b) the effectiveness and appropriateness of the plan's Constraints Management Strategy, including:

  (i) the progress of identifying constraints and options to mitigate the identified risks, and

  (ii) environmental water flows and river channel capacity;

(c) the management of the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray mouth, including the environmental impact of the locks, weirs and barrages of the Murray River; and

(d) any related matter.

(2) That the committee consist of 7 senators, 2 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 1 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, 1 nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate, and 3 to be nominated by other parties and independent senators.

(3) That:

(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, the Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate or any other party or any independent senator;

(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and

(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

(4) That 4 members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee.

(5) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(6) That the committee elect as chair and deputy chair a member nominated by minority parties and independent senators.

(7) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(8) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.

(9) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, has a casting vote.

(10) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to examine.

(11) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings, the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(12) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

(13) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such documents and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.


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