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Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Page: 7742


Mr IAN MACFARLANE (Groom) (11:50): by leave—I rise briefly to associate myself with the comments that the Minister for Resources and Energy has just made and to reinforce a few of those comments. Firstly, as to the terms of the social licence of the oil and gas industry to operate in Australia, that is a key issue in terms of this industry going forward. As the minister said, it has a critical, if not crucial, role to play in a low-emissions economy, but it has to do that within the community expectations and the environmental constraints that are placed on the industry and it has to do it in such a way that the industry has the absolute confidence of the community.

Secondly, I would like to join the minister in thanking the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism for their role in this legislation. As the minister suggested, it is very complex legislation and there is a set of quite complex amendments to go with it. It has been crucially important, as has been emphasised by those on both sides of the House, that we get this legislation right. It underpins the legislative framework which will ensure the safety of not only those who work in this industry but also, and just as importantly, the environment which hosts this industry. I thank the department, which is, from my personal experience as a minister, the best department in Australia, and I say that without reservation.

Finally, I thank the minister for the time that he has spent in negotiating with Minister Moore in Western Australia and I thank him for his commitment going forward that those negotiations will continue with the goal of reaching a conclusion. It is important that all parties in this debate do each have the opportunity to express their views. It has been very much a hallmark, starting with the inquiry after the Montara disaster, that all stakeholders in this debate have been able to participate, so I welcome the commitment of the minister going forward.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): It is a bit odd to let the member for Groom speak after the minister has summed up. He was on indulgence and given the nature of the debate and all the rest of it—and my confusion with what is going on—I am going to thank everyone for their assistance at this time. I have located my children!

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.