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Thursday, 2 June 2011
Page: 5723


Mr SIDEBOTTOM (Braddon) (10:48): by leave—I will be quite brief because we have an opportunity to speak on this in another place. I want to congratulate the chair and my colleagues on this committee for the work they have done and the secretariat for the excellent work it has done. I believe the report reflects the evidence that we took, that the challenges and issues raised in the report need to be taken forward and that the report contains some very constructive and positive suggestions about how to do that.

There are three things that I believe the evidence in the report emphasises. First, foremost and most importantly is that wherever we went the communities we spoke to recognised that without a healthy river you cannot have healthy communities. That was right across the board. There is a recognition of the need to ensure a sustainable environment, but in order to do that you also need sustainable communities. That fact, which has often been forgotten, was truly recognised.

The second thing that came out of the evidence is set out in point 7.7 from the report. It says:

The presentation of the Guide—

as the chair just pointed out—

contained many failures and yet the Committee still found communities willing to engage, be consulted with and contribute to a Basin Plan. Communities want a Basin Plan, but they want a Plan that acknowledges them as a critical part of the Basin.

The final issue is the importance of institutional reform and that is set out in point 7.9. It says:

In order to ensure that this reform is effective and community-focussed, there is a need to significantly overhaul how environmental water is sourced, managed and accounted for, then monitored.

We believe that the institutional reforms we recommend in the report will allow this to happen. I thank all the committee members and the secretariat for their fantastic work and to the chair I say that I believe you did an excellent job.