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Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Page: 5834


Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (15:38): I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 420 standing in my name for today concerning an order for the production of documents relating to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan before asking that it be taken as a formal motion.

Leave granted.

Senator XENOPHON: I move the motion as amended:

That—

(a) the Senate notes that:

(i) the Murray Darling river system is a national resource,

(ii) the aim of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, agreed to in 2012, is to ensure that water is shared between all users, including the environment, in a sustainable way,

(iii) it is important that the Commonwealth, the states and users comply with the agreed plan,

(iv) on 24 July 2017 the ABC's Four Corners program aired serious allegations in respect of the Barwon-Darling in relation to water pump tampering, theft and rorting, collusion between officials and irrigators, failures by officials to properly monitor compliance and the shutting down of compliance units in the face of alleged non-compliance, irregularity and illegality, and

(v) the Senate has an oversight responsibility in relation to implementation and execution of the Murray Darling Basin Plan and visibility to modelling - financial and compliance data assist the Senate in this regard; and

(b) there be laid on the table, by the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, by the start of business on 11 September 2017:

(i) documents associated with the proposal to purchase water licences held by Tandou Ltd in June 2017, including ministerial briefs, and the associated contracts,

(ii) draft and final reports and supporting documents, including assumptions used, about all modelling undertaken by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated River between 1 January 2014 and today,

(iii) draft and final reports and supporting documents about all investigations or work undertaken by the MDBA tracking the movement of environmental water in the Northern Basin between 1 January 2014 and today - including documents about the legal extraction of environmental water and/or potentially unlawful extraction of water,

(iv) a summary of expenditure of monies from the Water for the Environment Special Account to 30 June 2017 and today including:

(A) the criteria for distributing monies from this account,

(B) the evidence that these criteria had been met by the beneficiary of monies from this account,

(C) all transactions from this account to individuals or companies in relation to properties on the Barwon-Darling Unregulated River,

(D) the scope of work associated with the transactions; and

(v) reports on the distribution of monies for the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program in the Barwon-Darling Unregulated River between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2017 including:

(A) the criteria for distributing monies from this program,

(B) all transactions from this program to individuals or companies, and

(C) the scope of work associated with the transactions.

Question agreed to.