Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download PDFDownload PDF 

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

LAW AND JUSTICE—WATER ACT 2007—LEGAL INTERPRETATION—ORDER FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

The Leader of The Nationals in the Senate (Senator Joyce), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 143—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the conflicting and confusing positions of the Labor Government in regards to the legal interpretation of the Water Act 2007,

  (ii) that the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities tabled legal advice from the Australian Government Solicitor in the House of Representatives on 25 October 2010 stating that `The nature of the decision-making in relation to the Plan involves the application of broad concepts and there is therefore scope for the consideration of how economic, social and environmental outcomes should be optimised',


  (iii) that the Chairman of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Mr Mike Taylor, responded by stating that this advice disagrees with previous advice the Authority had received stating `... clearly the advice we'd had to date had indicated that we were obliged to meet the requirements of adhering to international agreement, and ensuring that we met the environmental flows required to maintain and restore key environmental assets and key ecosystems, and that it was not subject to social and economic impacts', and

  (iv) that, in a statement on 26 October 2010, the Authority revealed that this advice had come from the Minister's Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, in close consultation with the Australian Government Solicitor for legal interpretation; and

 (b) resolves that, to clear up the confusion on the legal interpretation, and the consequent effect that it is having on the prospects for jobs and investment in Basin communities, there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, no later than Thursday, 10 February 2011, all the advice that the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Minister's office and the Australian Government Solicitor have received or provided on this matter.

Question put and passed.