Thursday, 20 September 2012
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill 2012; Reference to Committee
On behalf of Senator Xenophon and myself, I move:
That the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill 2012 be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 November 2012.
My understanding, and I hope it is incorrect, is that this motion will not be supported by the government and the Greens. I am not sure if that is the case but if that is the case it would concern me because the Economics Committee has actually looked at this matter to the extent that they thought it was more appropriate for this issue to be referred to another committee. This is about the issue of renewable energy certificates for wind farms in the absence of appropriate health and other safeguards. The Economics Committee did not take evidence on this. It did not take submissions. It was recommended in a sense that it could go to another committee. That is what my colleague Senator Madigan and I are attempting to do. The practice and procedure of this place seems to be to allow bills, whether you agree or disagree with them, to be the subject of a robust inquiry so that both those for and against the bills can make submissions—unless I am mistaken. So if that is being blocked that would really concern me.