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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Page: 5265


Mr BURKE (WatsonMinister for the Arts, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water and Population and Communities) (20:48): The states have an incentive to be able to provide good infrastructure projects because the alternative, if they do not, is buyback. That actually builds into the entire process what we would want for implementation.

I believe it will not be long before we are in a position where we have an intergovernmental agreement. I know there has been some criticism from Senator Birmingham about the fact that an intergovernmental agreement is not yet signed, but that is on the basis that somehow the plan hinges on it. It does not. The intergovernmental agreement is a simply the way in which the states carve out the different amounts of money that we have on the table for them and how that is going to be spent. The plan itself has been locked in at law from the moment the disallowance motion was defeated in the parliament—as I say, on bipartisan lines.

As no-one is handing me anything, I will sit down and let the next questions come, but please do not think I have let go the earlier questions that have been asked.