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Notice given 28 February 2006

1606  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) Given that the Victorian and New South Wales (NSW) governments have committed $50 million from the proceeds of the sale to returning water to the Snowy River, and $10 million to maximising environmental outcomes, what money will the Commonwealth contribute to the ongoing health and viability of the Snowy River.

(2) (a) Will the Commonwealth Government commit to ensuring the Snowy River flows at a minimum of 28 per cent of its original flow, prior to the proposed sale; and (b) will the Commonwealth hold the NSW Government to its previous commitments to establish the Snowy Scientific Committee to ensure environmental flows have the greatest possible ecological benefit.

(3) Given the Minister’s strong interest in Alpine Heritage: (a) does he fully support privatisation of such an important and iconic piece of infrastructure; and (b) has he assessed the environmental and heritage impacts of the sale.