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Shadow Minister discusses north-south pipeline; and Murray Lower Lakes [excerpt]



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THE HON GREG HUNT MP Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water

TRANSCRIPT

INTERVIEW WITH LEON BYNER, 5AA ADELAIDE TUESDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2008

Topics: North-South pipeline, Murray Lower Lakes

E & OE…

GREG HUNT Actually on this we agree on quite a few things. Firstly, that the North-South pipeline is a disaster. Secondly, that by taking the 75 billion litres a year out of the Goulburn, the Murray and the Lower Lakes, that leads directly to the Rann Government’s decision yesterday to wave the white flag on the Lower Lakes, that if they’d stood up to Victoria and said ‘no’, if the Prime Minister had stood up to Victoria and said, ‘no, that’s water that could have been used in the Goulburn, the Murray and ultimately the Lower Lakes’, so this is an avoidable outcome.

LEON BYNER The Senate’s going to vote on this is the next 24 hours because the Lower House have rejected it, it goes back to the Senate - are you going to stand firm on this?

GREG HUNT Well, Malcolm Turnbull has announced on your station this morning that we will be moving another amendment today to stop the North-South pipeline. Now, ultimately, unless the Prime Minister agrees, the Senate cannot make legislation on its own because it’s a Victorian law which authorises the pipeline. The only way…

LEON BYNER Are you telling me that the Senate could reject it and it will go ahead anyway?

GREG HUNT Correct…it needs the Prime Minister as well, and yesterday he gave the green light to the pipeline and his Ministers….both Senator Wong from South Australia and Peter Garrett made it very clear that they will not act under any circumstances to block the pipeline. They of course, have the veto over Federal Parliamentary actions, so it’s very important to understand that you need both houses of Federal Parliament to over-ride a state law.

(Ends.)