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STANDING COMMITTEE ON RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT
13/11/2008
Water Amendment Bill 2008
STANDING COMMITTEE ON RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT
Senate committee
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Water Amendment Bill 2008
Final

CHAIR (Senator Sterle) —I declare open this public hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport. The committee is hearing evidence on the committee’s inquiry into the Water Amendment Bill 2008. I welcome you all here today. This is a public hearing and a Hansard transcript of the proceedings is being made.

Before the committee starts taking evidence I remind all witnesses that in giving evidence to the committee they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee, and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee.

The committee prefers all evidence to be given in public but, under the Senate’s resolutions, witnesses have the right to request to be heard in private session. It is important that witnesses give the committee notice if they intend to ask to give evidence in camera. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon which the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may, of course, also be made at any other time.

On behalf of the committee I would like to thank all those who have made submissions and sent representatives here today for their cooperation in this inquiry.

 [3.34 pm]