Senate debates

Tuesday, 24 August 2021


Environment and Communications References Committee; Report

5:15 pm

Photo of Sam McMahonSam McMahon (NT, Country Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I would like to point out that the coalition senators involved in this inquiry cannot support the majority report. This report is characterised by overtly political and ideological statements and selection of evidence. It has resulted in a quite biased report and biased conclusions, and we do not support it at all. In fact, we have a dissenting report which relies solely on scientific and factual evidence that was given by organisations such as the CSIRO and GISERA. The evidence that was picked up and presented in the majority report relied on a lot of unreliable witnesses, a lot of witnesses that didn't even seem to know why they were there or what they were saying. This is the reason we can't support this report.

For the Northern Land Council, in fact, one of the star witnesses was a lady who gave evidence from Dubai, where she lives, claiming to be a traditional owner. The Northern Land Council, which is the body under the legislation that is charged with identifying and organising consultation with traditional owners gave evidence that this witness was, in fact, not a traditional owner of the area concerned.

The report is just punctuated by claims such as these all through it, where these witnesses, who were supposed to be factual witnesses, giving evidence were actually activist groups, such as GetUp who were coaching a lot of the witnesses that were appearing, and a lot of the witnesses who supposedly appeared independently gave strikingly similar answers and they were the same answers as those that were given by organisations such as the Australia Institute and GetUp. My colleague Murray over there seems to be pathologically obsessed by Minister Taylor.


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