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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Page: 2165


Mr ADAMS (Lyons) (16:51): On Thursday, 15 September 2011 the House of Representatives Selection Committee report referred the Wild Rivers (Environmental Management) Bill 2011 to the House of Representatives Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry Committee for inquiry. The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on 12 September 2011 by the member for Warringah. The bill is similar to two bills introduced into the House of Representatives in 2010 also by the member for Warringah. The 2010 bill was referred to the House of Representatives select committee of the House of Representatives economics committee for inquiry and report on 17 November 2010. The report of that inquiry was tabled on 12 May 2011. In addition, two similar bills were introduced into the Senate by Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullin. These bills were both referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, which reported on 22 June 2010 and then 10 May 2011 respectively.

On 24 November 2011 the House of Representatives select committee also referred the 2011 bill to the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs. While recognising that the 2011 bill has been referred to an alternative committee, some members of the committee wish to briefly note the following workability issues in the bill, several of which have already been raised in previous parliamentary inquiries, such as ownership definitions, dispute resolution, employment guarantees and the creation of different tiers of land rights. These were highlighted to the committee. Others felt the bill had been adequately dealt with at committee level. Given the fact that the 2011 bill has now been referred to an alternative committee, the committee has resolved to conclude its inquiry into the 2011 bill with this report. I would like to thank the members of the committee for their work in relation to the inquiry and thank the government officials who briefed the committee on the bill in 2011. I commend the report to the House.

Debate adjourned.