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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Page: 1027


Senator CONROY (VictoriaMinister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) (15:02): On Monday, 27 February 2012 during question time, Senator Brown asked me a question as the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities concerning protection for the wild rivers in south-west Queensland.

Senator Brown asked whether in the event of a change of government in Queensland, resulting in repeal of Wild Rivers declarations in the Cooper Basin, the minister would 'come back with an assessment of how the EPBC Act may be used to give Commonwealth protection to the very same areas now protected under Queensland law?' I seek leave to incorporate an answer to this question.

Leave granted.

The answer read as follows—

The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) provides protection to matters of national environmental significance. The Wild Rivers Act 2005 is Queensland legislation and operates independently from the EPBC Act.