Senate debates

Thursday, 12 November 2015


Unconventional Gas Mining

12:14 pm

Photo of Matthew CanavanMatthew Canavan (Queensland, Liberal National Party) Share this | Hansard source

I recognise Senator Lazarus's keen interest in this issue, but the government cannot support this motion because of flaws in its construction. The coalition has supported previous inquiries into coal seam gas, including one chaired by Senator Bill Heffernan in 2011. That inquiry provided a fair opportunity for all senators to have their say. Because of that, it made recommendations that actually ended up in law. However, the proposed inquiry before us today would be established in a way that prevents the fair reflection of all views in this chamber. The motion provides for just one coalition senator out of five members, despite the coalition representing more than two in every five members of this chamber. It also establishes another select committee, when there is no reason why this inquiry could not usefully be sent to a standing references committee. Finally, I note that the issues outlined in this motion are largely ones for state governments. That is why the Commonwealth energy minister has committed to raising these issues with his state colleagues at the next COAG energy council meeting.


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