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RURAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT REFERENCES COMMITTEE—PROPOSED REFERENCE

Senator Heffernan, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved business of the Senate notice of motion no. 1—That the following matter be referred to the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 November 2011:

The management of the Murray-Darling Basin, and the development and implementation of the Basin Plan, with particular reference to:

 (a) the implications for agriculture and food production and the environment;

 (b) the social and economic impacts of changes proposed in the Basin;

 (c) the impact on sustainable productivity and on the viability of the Basin;

 (d) the opportunities for a national reconfiguration of rural and regional Australia and its agricultural resources against the background of the Basin Plan and the science of the future;

 (e) the extent to which options for more efficient water use can be found and the implications of more efficient water use, mining and gas extraction on the aquifer and its contribution to run off and water flow;

 (f) the opportunities for producing more food by using less water with smarter farming and plant technology;


 (g) the national implications of foreign ownership, including:

  (i) corporate and sovereign takeover of agriculture land and water, and

  (ii) water speculators;

 (h) means to achieve sustainable diversion limits in a way that recognises production efficiency;

 (i) options for all water savings including use of alternative basins; and

 (j) any other related matters.

The Leader of The Nationals in the Senate (Senator Joyce), by leave, moved the following amendment:

 After paragraph (i), insert:

 (j) investigate any ambiguity in the Water Act 2007 which may prevent the delivery of a triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental outcomes; and

Statements by leave: Senators Joyce and Hanson-Young, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 33

Senators—

Abetz

Adams

Back

Barnett

Birmingham

Boswell

Boyce

Brandis

Bushby

Cash

Colbeck

Coonan

Cormann

Fielding

Fierravanti-Wells

Fifield

Fisher

Heffernan

Humphries

Johnston

Joyce

Kroger

Macdonald

McGauran

Nash

Parry (Teller)

Payne

Ronaldson

Ryan

Scullion

Troeth

Trood

Williams

NOES, 32

Senators—

Arbib

Bilyk

Bishop

Brown, Bob

Brown, Carol

Cameron

Carr

Collins

Conroy

Crossin

Farrell

Faulkner

Feeney

Forshaw

Furner

Hanson-Young

Hogg

Hurley

Hutchins

Ludwig

Marshall

McEwen (Teller)

McLucas

Milne

Moore

Pratt

Sherry

Siewert

Stephens

Sterle

Wortley

Xenophon

Question agreed to.

Statements by leave: The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig) and Senator Joyce, by leave, made statements relating to the vote on the amendment to the motion.

Senator Ludwig, by leave, moved—That further consideration of the matter be adjourned till a later hour.

Question put and passed.