Senate debates

Thursday, 13 May 2021


Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Amendment (Extension and Other Measures) Bill 2021; Second Reading

2:42 pm

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | Hansard source

The question now is that the remaining amendments on sheets 1268, 1278, 1280, 1281, 1282 and 1287, circulated by the Australian Greens, be agreed to.

Greens' circulated amendments—

SHEET 1268

(1) Schedule 1, item 11, page 6 (after line 23), after subsection 7(1B), insert:

(1BA) The Facility must not provide financial assistance in the form of equity investments under subsection (1A) to an entity other than:

  (i) a corporation formed under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006;or

  (ii) a small business entity (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997).


SHEET 1278

(1) Schedule 1, page 8 (after line 14), after item 21, insert:

21A After section 10


10A Matters covered by Investment Mandate—ecological integrity

(1) The Investment Mandate must include directions that require the Facility not to give financial assistance in relation to projects that have the potential to damage the ecological integrity of protected areas or pastoral leases managed for conservation.

(2) Subsection (1) does not limit section 10.


SHEET 1280

(1) Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 4), after item 4, insert:

4A Section 5

Before "In this Act", insert "(1)".

(2) Schedule 1, item 7, page 4 (before line 22), before the definition of responsible Ministers, insert:

principles of ecologically sustainable development has the meaning given by subsection (2).

(3) Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 27), after item 7, insert:

7A At the end of section 5


(2) The following principles are principles of ecologically sustainable development:

(a) decision-making processes should effectively integrate both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations;

(b) if there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation;

(c) the principle of inter-generational equity—that the present generation should ensure that the health, biodiversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations;

(d) the conservation of biodiversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration in decision-making;

(e) improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms should be promoted.

(4) Schedule 1, items 20 and 21, page 8 (lines 7 to 14), omit the items, substitute:

20 Section 10

Repeal the section, substitute:

10 Matters covered by Investment Mandate

The Investment Mandate:

(a) must include a direction that the Facility must have regard to the principles of ecologically sustainable development when deciding whether to provide financial assistance; and

(b) may include directions about the following:

  (i) objectives the Facility is to pursue in providing financial assistance;

  (ii) strategies and policies to be followed for the effective performance of the Facility's functions;

  (iii) loan characteristics for circumstances in which financial assistance is used to provide or support loans;

  (iv) providing financial assistance for purposes other than to provide or support loans;

  (v) matters relating to the provision of financial assistance in the form of equity investments, including limits on the amount that may be provided in this form, the rate of return, and the management of risks;

  (vi) eligibility criteria for financial assistance;

  (vii) risk and return in relation to providing financial assistance;

  (viii) any other matters the responsible Ministers think appropriate.


SHEET 1281

(1) Schedule 1, item 11, page 6 (after line 15), after subsection 7(1A), insert:

(1AA) The Facility must not provide financial assistance to entities other than the States and Territories under subsection (1A), except with the agreement of each State or Territory in relation to which that financial assistance is provided.


SHEET 1282

(1) Schedule 1, item 7, page 4 (line 24), omit the definition of Secretary.


SHEET 1287

(1) Schedule 1, page 7 (after line 23), after item 15, insert:

15A At the end of Part 2


8A Prohibition on assistance for fossil fuel -based infrastructure

(1) Financial assistance must not be provided under this Act for the development of fossil fuel-based infrastructure.

(2) It must be a condition of any grant of financial assistance under this Act that the financial assistance not be used (whether directly or indirectly) for the development of fossil fuel-based infrastructure.

(3) Without limiting subsection (1), neither the Facility nor a subsidiary of the Facility may invest (whether directly or indirectly, including as a participant in a partnership, trust, joint venture or similar arrangement, through subsidiaries or other investment vehicles, or by any combination of these means) in fossil fuel-based infrastructure.

(4) In this section:

fossil fuel -based infrastructure:

(a) includes fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity; and

(b) includes infrastructure relating to extraction, processing, storage and movement of fossil fuels; and

(c) does not include electricity transmission infrastructure.

fossil fuels includes any of the following:

(a) coal;

(b) oil and other petroleum-based products;

(c) gas;

(d) products, by-products and wastes from extracting or processing fossils fuels to which paragraphs (a) to (c) apply.

8B Cost -benefit analysis to be undertaken

The Facility must not make a decision to provide financial assistance for the development of Northern Australia economic infrastructure unless:

(a) a cost-benefit analysis has been prepared in relation to the infrastructure; and

(b) the cost-benefit analysis has been published on the Facility's website for a period of at least 30 days before the decision is made; and

(c) the public has been consulted in relation to the infrastructure; and

(d) regard has been had to any submissions received as result of the consultation.


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