Thursday, 12 February 2015
That the Senate—
(a) notes recent media reporting which shows that Adani's ownership and taxation arrangements in relation to the Abbot Point coal terminal and proposed Carmichael coal mine lack transparency; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to urgently establish which individuals or corporate entities control the Abbot Point coal terminal and the Carmichael mine and whether all relevant disclosures have been made to Australian regulators.
We have considered this motion proposed by Senator Waters very carefully because of the importance of the issue. Any questions regarding the transparency of the ownership and taxation arrangements for the Abbot Point coal terminal and the proposed Carmichael coalmine should be directed to the appropriate regulators. I recommend that Senator Waters write to the relevant regulators and oversight bodies and, if necessary, request that these agencies appear before the Senate estimates process. It is the role of regulators to ensure that arrangements for private business entities are in order. It is not the role of the Senate to investigate individual corporate entities and individual projects that these companies might be involved in.
The environment minister is clearly the appropriate regulator given that he is required to know who the proponent is for a project. So I have submitted an amended motion which confines the scope of the request to that point. I expect to receive Labor's support for it and, failing that, will only draw the conclusion that they are in bed with the coal industry.
I remind senators of a Procedure Committee report which discourages members from using leave to engage in debate and suggests that it should be used simply to make statements. I draw the Senate's attention to that recommendation. The question is that general business notice of motion No. 596 be agreed to.