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Thursday, 25 July 2019
Page: 1047

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

Mr BUTLER (Hindmarsh) (14:36): My question is again to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. I refer the minister to his previous answer. When did the minister tell the Prime Minister that he had an interest in Jam Land Pty Ltd?

Mr TAYLOR (HumeMinister for Energy and Emissions Reduction) (14:36): I have answered the question about the disclosure of my interests before. You need to answer the question of why you are part of a grubby smear campaign against my family—

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs is warned.

Mr TAYLOR: in this parliament and in the New South Wales parliament, and you are well aware of that.

As I've said, my indirect interest in that farm, in Jam Land, has been widely reported in the media and was declared in accordance with the rules. On this side of the House, many of us were involved in farming and business before we came into the House; that's what many of us did. The result of that is we have interests in family farms, and mine are fully declared through my family company, as has been widely reported in the media.

The reason this issue came up is that several years ago, before I was in this current role, I sought to ensure that my farmers in the electorate of Hume were being fairly treated under a revised EPBC listing. That revised EPBC listing was having an impact on and creating concerns with my farmers, which were raised by the New South Wales Farmers and the National Farmers' Federation on several occasions.

I read from a letter to the Treasurer at that time: 'At the time the listing was made, the NFF raised the following points in a submission to the department of the environment'—this is a letter to the now Treasurer, the then Minister for the Environment and Energy. The letter goes on to say: 'The information available for public consultation did not provide any quantified assessment of the extent, distribution and the quality of the listing. The information provided as part of the review did not adequately analyse the ongoing risks.' And, thirdly, 'Based on the information provided, in the NFF's view it is highly unlikely that an individual farmer would be able to assess their responsibilities under the EPBC.' These were legitimate concerns, and they were properly raised in the right context because I stand up for my farmers.

The SPEAKER: Is the Manager of Opposition Business seeking to table a document?

Mr Burke: I'm asking the minister to table the document that he was reading from. We have a copy of a document, that appears to have the same language, which was actually months after the meeting, not before.

The SPEAKER: Was the minister quoting from a confidential document? It is a confidential document.

Mr Burke: I seek leave to table a letter to the then Minister for the Environment and Energy from the National Farmers' Federation, dated 3 October 2017.

Leave not granted.