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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 2944


Mr BURKE (WatsonMinister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities) (12:31): I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill and seek leave to move government amendments (1) to (6) as circulated together.

Leave granted.

Mr BURKE: I move government amendments (1) to (6):

(1) Schedule 1, items 20 and 21, page 10 (line 26) to page 11 (line 4), omit the items, substitute:

20 Application

   The amendments made by this Schedule apply in relation to an action involving coal seam gas development or large coal mining development that is taken on or after the day this item commences, even if the action began before that time, unless:

   (a) item 22 of this Schedule applies in relation to the taking of the action; or

   (b) the Minister decides, under item 23 of this Schedule, that sections 24D and 24E of the new law are not controlling provisions for the action.

(2) Schedule 1, item 22, page 11 (lines 7 to 13), omit subitem (1), substitute:

(1) The amendments made by this Schedule do not apply in relation to the taking of an action by a person involving coal seam gas development or large coal mining development if:

   (a) immediately before the day this item commences, any of the circumstances set out in subitem (2) were satisfied in relation to the action and the person; or

   (b) immediately before 13 March 2013, the circumstance set out in subitem (2A) was satisfied in relation to the action and the person.

(3) Schedule 1, item 22, page 11 (line 14), omit "subitem (1)", substitute "paragraph (1)(a)".

(4) Schedule 1, item 22, page 11 (lines 24 to 33), omit paragraphs (2)(d) and (e), substitute:

   (d) both:

      (i) the Minister has informed the persons mentioned in paragraph 131AA(1)(a) of the old law of the decision the Minister proposes to make in relation to the action; and

      (ii) the Minister has, as required by section 131AB of the old law, obtained advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development in relation to the action;

(5) Schedule 1, item 22, page 11 (after line 35), after subitem (2), insert:

   (2A) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), the circumstance is that none of the provisions of Part 3 of the old law were controlling provisions for the action and an appropriate Minister of a declared State or Territory has, under paragraph 505D(1)(b) of the old law, obtained advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development in relation to the action for the purposes of giving a specific environment authorisation for the action under a State or Territory law.

(6) Schedule 1, item 23, page 13 (line 4), before "advice", insert "the Minister had not informed the persons mentioned in paragraph 131AA(1)(a) of the old law of the decision the Minister proposes to make in relation to the action or".

The proposed amendments to the bill would make a technical change to ensure that the prohibitions in the bill would not apply where the minister decides that a project will not have a significant impact on a water resource. They clarify that an exemption from the new trigger will apply if a state obtained advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee before the introduction of the bill on 13 March and will not overlap with the related exemptions for independent expert scientific advice to the Commonwealth minister. They clarify that an exemption related to the Commonwealth minister obtaining advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee will apply where that advice is considered at the proposed decision stage and after a comprehensive assessment. These minor amendments are proposed in response to stakeholder feedback on the bill and further technical review. These proposed amendments would give better effect to the intent of the bill.