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WATER AMENDMENT BILL 2008

Order of the day read for the further consideration of the bill in committee of the whole.

In the committee

Consideration resumed of the bill, as amended—and of the amendment moved by Senator Nash:

 Schedule 2, page 318 (after line 32), after item 162, insert:

 162F At the end of Part 12

  Add:

 

262 Inquiry into bulk water arrangements

  (1) The Minister must cause an inquiry to be held into the effects of Commonwealth water purchases from bulk water arrangements.

  (2) The inquiry must consider what steps the Minister should take to prevent third party effects within bulk water arrangements on remaining parties.

  (3) The inquiry must report by 1 July 2009 and the Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 5 sitting days of receiving the report.

  (4) The Minister must have regard to the recommendations of the report of the inquiry in proceeding with subsequent purchases of water from bulk water arrangements.

Debate resumed.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and negatived.

Senator Nash moved the following amendment:

 Schedule 2, page 318 (after line 32), after item 162, insert:

 162G At the end of Part 12

  Add:

 

263 Lower Lakes and Coorong emergency assistance

  (1) As soon as practicable after the commencement of this section, the Government must determine an assistance package of a minimum $50 million for Lower Lakes and Coorong communities to help farmers, small businesses, tourism and community sectors to respond to the crisis caused by the lack of water.

  (2) Payments of assistance in accordance with a scheme determined under subsection (1) are to be made from money appropriated by the Parliament for that purpose.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.


The committee divided—

AYES,36


Senators—
AbetzColbeckHumphriesPayne
BarnettCoonanKrogerRonaldson
BernardiFergusonLudlamRyan
BirminghamFieldingMacdonaldScullion
BoswellFierravanti-WellsMasonSiewert
BoyceFifieldMcGauranTroeth
BrandisFisherMilneTrood
Brown, BobHanson-YoungNashWilliams (Teller)
BushbyHeffernanParryXenophon

NOES, 24


Senators—
ArbibFarrellHutchinsPolley
BilykFeeneyLudwigSherry
Brown, CarolForshawLundyStephens
CameronFurnerMarshallSterle
CollinsHoggMcEwenWong
Crossin (Teller)HurleyMcLucasWortley

Question agreed to.

Senator Siewert moved the following amendments together by leave:

 Clause 2, page 2 (table item 4), omit "Schedule 3", substitute "Schedules 3 and 4".

 Page 326 (after line 32), at the end of the bill, add:

  

Schedule 4—Amendments related to the recognition of Indigenous water rights

 

Water Act 2007

 1 After paragraph 3(d)

  Insert:

 (da) to give recognition to Indigenous water rights and delivery of cultural flows; and

 2 Subsection 4(1)

  Insert:

   cultural flows are water entitlements that are legally and beneficially owned by the Indigenous Nations of a sufficient and adequate quantity and quality to improve the spiritual, cultural, environmental, social and economic conditions of those Indigenous Nations.

 3 Subsection 4(1)

  Insert:

   cultural water has the meaning given by section 6A.

 4 Subsection 4(1) (definition of relevant international agreement)

  After paragraph (h), insert:

 (ha) the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;


 5 After section 6

  Insert:

 

6A Cultural water

  (1) Cultural water comprises water entitlements derived from cultural flows.

  (2) Cultural water within the Basin can be used for the following purposes:

 (a) empowerment and social justice—water is delivered to Country by the peoples;

 (b) growing native plants;

 (c) protecting and hunting animals;

 (d) song, dance, art and ceremony;

 (e) spiritual sites;

 (f) improved cultural, economic and health outcomes through the provision of food, medicines and materials for art.

 6 At the end of section 21

  Add:

   Basin Plan to recognise the right to cultural water

  (8) The Basin Plan must be prepared so as to recognise cultural flows and provide recognition of entitlements to cultural water.

   Note: Cultural water has the meaning given by section 6A.

 7 After paragraph 22(3)(e)

  Add:

 (ea) the recognition of cultural flows and entitlements to cultural water; and

 8 At the end of subsection 28(1)

  Add:

 ; and (f) recognise cultural flows and entitlements to cultural water.

 9 At the end of subsection 178(3)

  Add:

 ; (h) Indigenous water rights and cultural flows.

 12 At the end of subsection 202(7)

  Add:

 ; or (e) uses water as cultural water.

Note: Cultural water has the meaning given by section 6A.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put and negatived.


On the motion of Senator Siewert the following amendments, taken together by leave, were debated and agreed to:

 Clause 2, page 2 (table item 4), omit "Schedule 3", substitute "Schedules 3 and 4".

 Page 326 (after line 32), at the end of the bill, add:

  

Schedule 4—Amendments related to the recognition of Indigenous water rights

 

Water Act 2007

 10 After paragraph 202(3)(b)

  Insert:

 and (c) an Indigenous water subcommittee, to guide the consideration of Indigenous matters relevant to the Basin's water resources;

 11 At the end of subsection 202(5)

  Add:

 ; and (c) an individual with expertise in Indigenous matters relevant to the Basin's water resources.

On the motion of Senator Nash the following amendment was debated and agreed to:

 Schedule 1, item 1, page 11 (after line 2), after subsection 18H(1), insert:

  (1A) Until the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have each achieved the objective of increasing the flow of water in the River Murray as required by the Living Murray Initiative, these States' water savings programs are to be independently audited and, as soon as the saved water becomes available, the water must be allocated to the Living Murray Initiative and must not be used for any other purpose.

On the motion of Senator Nash the following amendment was debated and agreed to:

 Schedule 2, item 50A, after subsection 21(10), insert:

  (10A) To avoid doubt:

 (a) the delivery of water for the initiatives of the Water for Rivers project was an existing use of water prior to 3 July 2008; and

 (b) the taking of water for the initiatives of the Water for Rivers project is not contrary to subsection 21(8); and

 (c) the construction and operation of water infrastructure for the initiatives of the Water for Rivers project is not contrary to subsection 257(1); and

 (d) all commenced and provisionally agreed Snowy River environmental flows are preserved and excluded from the provisions of subsections 21(8), 21(9) and 257(1).

Senator Nash moved the following amendment to the amendment moved by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) and agreed to on 26 November 2008 (see entry no. 5, 26 November 2008, J 1303):

 Schedule 2, item 161A, subsection 255A(1), omit "exploration".

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.


The committee divided—

AYES,37


Senators—
BernardiCrossin (Teller)HutchinsScullion
BilykFarrellKrogerStephens
BirminghamFeeneyLundySterle
BoswellFergusonMcEwenTroeth
BoyceFieldingMcLucasTrood
Brown, CarolFierravanti-WellsNashWilliams
BushbyFifieldParryWortley
CameronFisherPayne
ColbeckFurnerPolley
CollinsHurleyRonaldson

NOES, 6


Senators—
Brown, BobLudlamSiewert (Teller)Xenophon
Hanson-YoungMilne

Question agreed to.

Senator Nash moved the following amendment to the amendment moved by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) and agreed to on 26 November 2008 (see entry no. 5, 26 November 2008, J 1303):

 Schedule 2, item 161A, omit subsection 255A(2).

The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) moved the following amendment to Senator Nash's proposed amendment:

 At the end of the amendment, add ", substitute:

  (2) Where a substantial risk is identified, licences must not be granted."

Debate ensued.

Question—That Senator Bob Brown's amendment to Senator Nash's proposed amendment be agreed to—put.

The committee divided—

AYES,6


Senators—
Brown, BobHanson-YoungMilneSiewert (Teller)
FieldingLudlam

NOES, 40


Senators—
BarnettCollinsHurleyPolley
BilykCrossinHutchinsRonaldson
BirminghamFarrellKrogerRyan
BishopFeeneyLundyScullion
BoswellFergusonMarshallSterle
BoyceFierravanti-WellsMcEwenTroeth
Brown, CarolFifieldMcLucasTrood
BushbyFisherNashWilliams
CameronFurnerParry (Teller)Wong
ColbeckHoggPayneWortley

Question negatived.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and passed.


Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill to be reported with amendments.

The President resumed the chair and the Chair of Committees (Senator Ferguson) reported accordingly.

On the motion of the Minister for Climate Change and Water (Senator Wong) the report from the committee was adopted and the bill read a third time.