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Wednesday, 8 December 2004
Page: 29


Senator STEPHENS (11:35 AM) —by leave—I move opposition amendments (1) to (3) on amendment sheet 4481:

(1) Clause 8, page 8 (lines 11 to 14), omit subclause (2), substitute:

(2) Commissioners are to be appointed by the Minister, by instrument in writing, on the nomination of the parties to the COAG Water Reform Framework.

(2) Clause 8, page 8 (lines 15 to 17), omit subclause (3), substitute:

(3) A nomination of a person for appointment as a Commissioner must be made by resolution of the parties to the COAG Water Reform Framework.

(3) Clause 24, page 15 (line 14), at the end of paragraph (1)(a), add:

“or (iii) any COAG agreed programs;”

Amendments (1) and (2) relate to clause 8 and reflect the concerns of both the opposition and those people who made submissions to the Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee in relation to the provisions in the National Water Commission Bill 2004. The concerns are that the whole-of-government initiative that has emerged out of the COAG Water Reform Framework, which is now the National Water Commission, would be more appropriately reflected if the commissioners were to be appointed by the minister on the nomination of the parties to the COAG Water Reform Framework and that the nomination of a person for appointment as a commissioner must be made by resolution of the parties to the COAG Water Reform Framework, rather than the National Water Initiative, because, as we all know, there are some states and territories that have not signed up to that agreement. Amendment (3) is a very simple amendment going to the functions of the CEO that allow us to incorporate the addition of any COAG agreed programs in his administration of funds.