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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Page: 5263

Mr HUNT (Flinders) (20:40): I would like to take the minister to program 3.1 in the portfolio budgets, which relates to Antarctica, science, policy and presence. In particular, I want to deal with the life span for the Aurora Australis. I would like to know: for what period of time is it now expected that the Aurora Australis, or the Antarctic icebreaker, will be capable of performing its duties? Is there a risk that it will no longer be able to do that within the time needed to build a new icebreaker? In particular, why hasn't there been any funding allocated for the construction of a replacement of the Aurora Australis? If the icebreaker is at risk of not being ready in the out-years of the budget, why has there been no money allocated for flights to Antarctica?

Mr ZAPPIA: My question to the minister relates to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Earlier this year the parliament adopted the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. I acknowledge the work and the leadership shown by the minister in getting that historic reform through the parliament and in particular getting the plan itself through the parliament as he did. Much of the credit for that goes to the minister, because I know how hard he worked with respect to pulling all the parties together. My question relates to the plan. I ask the minister whether, as result of the plan having been adopted by the parliament, can he update the House as to how the plan is being implemented by each of the parties to the agreement? Have there been any additional measures that have been put in place as a result of the plan?