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Thursday, 15 March 2012
Page: 1847

Senator JOYCE (QueenslandLeader of The Nationals in the Senate) (12:04): Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator JOYCE: Thank you, Mr President. There has already been an inquiry from the Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, which has been reported. Recommendations from that inquiry on coal seam gas were hard fought for. By reasons that those recommendations were hard fought for and that the government reply to that inquiry has not yet occurred, to have another inquiry would diminish from the effort that we put in to get the recommendations that we sought. In those recommendations it was quite clear that we do not want coal seam gas on prime agricultural land, that aquifers must not be destroyed and must be protected and that the quiet enjoyment of residential areas must be respected. Additional comments were made by the National Party about getting a proper pecuniary return back to the landholder on whose place the coal seam gas is extracted.

What we see happening at this juncture is not so much an inquiry to assist with the process that is currently at foot but more of a political statement to create a wedge. The National Party will not be supporting this motion.