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Wednesday, 8 December 2004
Page: 34

Senator STEPHENS (12:03 PM) —I want to speak about the intergovernmental agreement, which outlines the institutional arrangements of the National Water Commission and the advisory role of the National Water Commission. Firstly, is it the minister's understanding that there is no provision for COAG or states and territories to directly seek advice from the National Water Commission, and that the general functions as described in the bill are curtailed by the commission providing advice only if requested to do so by the minister? Secondly, is he aware whether the intergovernmental agreement requires the National Water Commission to consider the views of stakeholders in preparing advice as required and that that is not provided for in the bill?