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Water Amendment Bill 2008

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5629

2008

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

Water Amendment Bill 2008

 

 

(1)     Schedule 2, page 286 (after line 20), after item 6, insert:

6A  Paragraph 3(h)

After “to provide for the”, insert “regular and systematic”.

6B  At the end of paragraph 3(h)

Add:

                   ; and (iii)  the long-term health, resilience and sustainability of Australia’s rivers, wetlands and estuaries.

[objects]

(2)     Schedule 2, page 293 (after line 7), after item 45, insert:

45A  Paragraph 20(b)

After “quantities of”, insert “or shares of”.

[long-term sustainable diversion limit]

(3)     Schedule 2, page 293 (after line 7), after item 45, insert:

45B  After paragraph 20(b)

Insert:

                   (ba)  measures which ensure that flows are sufficient and regular enough to maintain essential ecosystem functions throughout the Basin and that the effects of diverting water in one part of the Basin on all other parts of the Basin are fully accounted for; and

[maintaining ecosystems and system-wide trade-offs]

 (4)    Schedule 2, page 293 (after line 7), after item 45, insert:

45C  Subsection 21(1)

Repeal the subsection (not including the heading), substitute:

             (1)  The Basin Plan (including any environmental watering plan or water quality and salinity management plan included in the Basin Plan) must be prepared so as to provide for giving effect (to the extent to which they are relevant to the use and management of the Basin water resources) to:

                     (a)  relevant international agreements; and

                     (b)  the Australian Ramsar management principles as prescribed by section 335 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 ; and

                     (c)  plans and strategies developed for implementing commitments under relevant Agreements in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 including but not limited to:

                              (i)  any management plans for a Ramsar wetland under section 328 or section 333 of that Act; and

                             (ii)  any recovery plan or threat abatement plan prepared by the Commonwealth under Chapter 5 of that Act or any recovery plan or threat abatement plan developed by a State or Territory; and

                            (iii)  the China Australia and Japan Migratory Birds agreements and any wildlife conservation plans under section 285 of that Act.

[the Basin Plan and environmental agreements]

(5)     Schedule 2, page 293 (after line 7), after item 45, insert:

45D  At the end of paragraph 21(2)(a)

Add:

                            (iii)  the need to take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimise the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects; and

                            (iv)  the need for sustainable management, conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of all greenhouse gases including biomass, forests and oceans as well as other terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems; and

                             (v)  the need for adaptation to the impacts of climate change including appropriate and integrated plans for water resources and agriculture; and

[Climate Change Convention commitments]

(6)     Schedule 2, page 294 (after line 2), after item 50, insert:

50A  Subsection 22(1) (table item 6, column 2)

After “quantities of water”, insert “or shares of water”.

50B  Subsection 22(1) (table item 7, column 2)

After “quantities of water”, insert “or shares of water”.

 [long-term sustainable diversion limit]

(7)     Schedule 2, page 295 (after line 7), after item 59, insert:

59AA  Section 38

Repeal the section.

[exceptions by regulation]

(8)     Schedule 2, page 297 (after line 30), after item 62, insert:

62A  Paragraph 44(3)(b)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (b)  must adopt, in writing, that version of the Basin Plan.

[modifications to the Basin Plan]

(9)     Schedule 2, page 297 (after line 30), after item 62, insert:

62B  Subparagraph 44(5)(b)(i)

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                              (i)  items 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 or 10 of the table in subsection 22(1); or

[exclusions from Ministerial direction]

(10)   Schedule 2, page 300 (after line 13), after item 65, insert:

65A  Paragraph 48(3)(b)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (b)  must adopt, in writing, that version of the amendment.

[modifications to the Basin Plan]

(11)   Schedule 2, page 301 (after line 1), after item 69, insert:

69A  At the end of section 55

Add:

             (4)  A water resource plan must be prepared to give effect (to the extent to which they are relevant to the use and management of the Basin water resources) to:

                     (a)  relevant international agreements; and

                     (b)  the Australian Ramsar management principles as prescribed by section 335 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 ; and

                     (c)  plans and strategies developed for implementing commitments under relevant Agreements in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 including but not limited to:

                              (i)  any management plans for a Ramsar wetland under section 328 or section 333 of that Act; and

                             (ii)  any recovery plan or threat abatement plan prepared by the Commonwealth under Chapter 5 of that Act or any recovery plan or threat abatement plan developed by a State or Territory; and

                            (iii)  the China Australia and Japan Migratory Birds agreements and any wildlife conservation plans under section 285 of that Act.

[water resource plan and environmental agreements]

(12)   Schedule 2, page 301 (after line 14), after item 75, insert:

75A  Section 62

Repeal the section.

[exceptions by regulation]

(13)   Schedule 2, page 304 (after line 14), after item 90, insert:

90A  At the end of Part 2

Add:

Division 5—Investments

86AA Investment decisions

             (1)  The Minister, in making investment decisions related to the Murray-Darling Basin, including but not limited to investments relating to modernising on-farm and off-farm irrigation infrastructure, major engineering works and the purchase of water allocations, must:

                     (a)  ensure consistency of the investment with the Basin Plan; and

                     (b)  ensure consistency of the investment with the National Water Initiative commitments, giving effect to the principles of full-cost recovery, user pays and pricing transparency; and

                     (c)  provide transparency and accountability in the expenditure of funds; and

                     (d)  monitor and measure the effectiveness of the investment in meeting the objectives of the Basin Plan; and

                     (e)  assess the cost effectiveness of the proposal.

             (2)  To ensure that where any water entitlement savings are to be shared between the environment and an existing entitlement holder, the Minister must:

                     (a)  have the extent of the savings confirmed by an independent auditor;

                     (b)  reduce the existing licence holder’s access entitlement by at least 50% of the savings that are expected to occur after the investment is made.

 [investment decisions]

(14)   Schedule 2, page 304 (after line 16), after item 91, insert:

91A  Part 5 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Part 5—Murray-Darling Basin Water Rights Information Service and Register

91B  At the end of Part 5

Add:

103A  Progressively established Basin Water Register

             (1)  The Authority may establish a Guaranteed Water Rights Register in a manner that is consistent with the Basin Plan.

             (2)  The Authority may establish a process enabling the voluntary transfer of registrable water rights issued by States to the Register established under subsection (1).

[Basin water register]

(15)   Schedule 2, page 305 (after line 16), after item 93, insert:

93A  Paragraph 110(1)(a)

Before “using”, insert “acquiring, holding or”.

[restrictions on water holder]

(16)   Schedule 2, page 306 (after line 1), after item 97, insert:

97A  Subsection 140(1)

Repeal the subsection (not including the heading), substitute:

             (1)  If a person has engaged, is engaging or is proposing to engage in conduct consisting of an act or omission that constituted, constitutes or would constitute a contravention to which this Part applies, an application to a Court for an injunction may be sought by:

                     (a)  the appropriate enforcement agency; or

                     (b)  an interested person (other than an unincorporated organisation); or

                     (c)  a person acting on behalf of an unincorporated organisation that is an interested person.

97B  At the end of section 140

Add:

             (7)  For the purposes of an application for an injunction relating to conduct or proposed conduct, an individual is an interested person if the individual is an Australian citizen or is ordinarily resident in Australia or an external Territory, and:

                     (a)  the individual’s interests have been, are or would be affected by the conduct or proposed conduct; or

                     (b)  the individual engaged in a series of activities for protection or conservation of, or research into, water resources or dependent ecosystems, at any time in the 2 years immediately before:

                              (i)  the conduct; or

                             (ii)  in the case of proposed conduct—making the application for the injunction.

             (8)  For the purposes of an application for an injunction relating to conduct or proposed conduct, an organisation (whether incorporated or not) is an interested person if it is incorporated (or was otherwise established) in Australia or an external Territory and one or more of the following conditions are met:

                     (a)  the organisation’s interests have been, are or would be affected by the conduct or proposed conduct;

                     (b)  if the application relates to conduct—at any time during the 2 years immediately before the conduct:

                              (i)  the organisation’s objects or purposes included the protection or conservation of, or research into, water resources or dependent ecosystems; and

                             (ii)  the organisation has been engaged in a series of activities related to the protection or conservation of, or research into, water resources or dependent ecosystems; and

                     (c)  if the application relates to proposed conduct—at any time during the 2 years immediately before the making of the application:

                              (i)  the organisation’s objects or purposes included the protection or conservation of, or research into, water resources or dependent ecosystems; and

                             (ii)  the organisation has been engaged in a series of activities related to the protection or conservation of, or research into, water resources or dependent ecosystems.

[applications for injunctions]

(17)   Schedule 2, page 306 (after line 1), after item 97, insert:

97C  At the end of Part 8

Add:

Division 10—Review of administrative decisions

170A Extended standing for judicial review

             (1)  This section extends (and does not limit) the meaning of the term person aggrieved in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 for the purposes of the application of that Act in relation to:

                     (a)  a decision made under this Act or the regulations; or

                     (b)  a failure to make a decision under this Act or the regulations; or

                     (c)  conduct engaged in for the purpose of making a decision under this Act or the regulations.

             (2)  An individual is taken to be a person aggrieved by the decision, failure or conduct if:

                     (a)  the individual is an Australian citizen ordinarily resident in Australia or an external Territory; and

                     (b)  at any time in the 2 years immediately before the decision, failure or conduct, the individual has engaged in a series of activities in Australia or an external Territory for protection or conservation of, or research into, water resources or dependent ecosystems.

             (3)  An organisation or association (whether incorporated or not) is taken to be a person aggrieved by the decision, failure or conduct if:

                     (a)  the organisation or association is incorporated, or was otherwise established, in Australia or an external Territory; and

                     (b)  at any time in the 2 years immediately before the decision, failure or conduct, the organisation or association has engaged in a series of activities in Australia or an external Territory for protection or conservation of, or research into, water resources or dependent ecosystems; and

                     (c)  at the time of the decision, failure or conduct, the objects or purposes of the organisation or association included protection or conservation of, or research into, water resources or dependent ecosystems.

             (4)  A term (except person aggrieved ) used in this section and in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 has the same meaning in this section as it has in that Act.

170B Applications on behalf of unincorporated organisations

                   Applications for a review of decisions under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 may be made by a person acting on behalf of an unincorporated organisation that is a person aggrieved for the purposes of that Act by:

                     (a)  a decision made under this Act or the regulations; or

                     (b)  a failure to make a decision under this Act or the regulations; or

                     (c)  conduct engaged in for the purpose of making a decision under this Act or the regulations.

[review of administrative decisions]

(18)   Schedule 2, page 306 (after line 1), after item 97, insert:

97D  Before paragraph 172(1)(a)

Insert:

                    (aa)  to pursue and, where appropriate, encourage other agencies to pursue the objects of the Act as set out in section 3;

[the Authority’s functions]

 (19)  Schedule 2, page 306 (after line 1), after item 97, insert:

97E  Paragraph 172(1)(b)

After “quantity”, insert “and the threat to the long term health”.

[responsibility for river health]

(20)   Schedule 2, page 306 (after line 19), after item 100, insert:

100A  At the end of paragraph 172(1)(h)

Add “with specific attention to river, wetland and estuary health”.

[responsibility for river health]

(21)   Schedule 2, page 308 (after line 5), after item 106, insert:

106A  Subsection 175(1)

After “directions”, insert “, which must be consistent with the objects of this Act,”.

[Ministerial directions]

(22)   Schedule 2, page 308 (after line 5), after item 106, insert:

106B  Before paragraph 175(2)(a)

Insert:

                    (aa)  those aspects of the Basin Plan excluded from Ministerial direction under subsection 44(5);

[exclusions from Ministerial direction]

(23)   Schedule 2, page 308 (after line 5), after item 106, insert:

106C  Subsection 178(6)

Omit “must”, substitute “may”.

[composition of the Authority]