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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Page: 168


Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training, upon notice, on 13 December 2004:

(1)   Will the Minister provide a copy of the report, Quantifying and valuing land use change for integrated catchment management evaluation in the Murray-Darling Basin 1996-1997 − 2000-01, by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

(2)   Why was the report removed from the CSIRO website.


Senator Vanstone (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs) —The Minister for Education, Science and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   The CSIRO-authored report for the Murray Darling Basin Commission (MDBC), Quantifying and valuing land use change for Integrated Catchment Management evaluation in the Murray-Darling Basin 1996/97 − 2000/01 was published on the CSIRO Land and Water website with MDBC approval on 23 November 2004.  The report was removed from the website on 24 November 2004 upon request from the MDBC for two reasons:

  • Media comment indicated that the report’s expression of the water use data regarding the increase in the area under irrigation could be misinterpreted and this needed to be addressed.  Therefore, at the request of the MDBC, CSIRO Land and Water made some editorial modifications and additions to the report, mainly in the Executive Summary, to help guide interpretation of the data presented.  The underpinning methodology, scientific integrity and results were not changed. 

Following MDBC approval, the final report was then published on the CSIRO Land and Water’s website on 20 December 2004. 

  • The MDBC wished to announce the release of the report and its availability on the Internet through a media release.  This was issued by the MDBC on 20 December 2004.