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Thursday, 25 August 1994
Page: 339

Senator CHAMARETTE (11.04 a.m.) —I rise to indicate that the Greens (WA) support the amendment put forward by the Australian Democrats and explain that the amendment that we have that relates to the preamble is in the regretted anticipation that the Democrats' amendment will not be supported, as we are being told it will not be supported, by either of the major parties. I indicate support for all the Democrat amendments and will give the reasons why the Greens' amendments have also been put forward, so that we can ease the process of going through the committee stage.

  The amendments that the Greens (WA) will be moving seek to remove the need for an impact statement prior to making any national environment protection measure. Instead, the council would be obliged to publicly call for submissions and take account of any submissions that are made to it. The reason for this is that we feel that, in a situation where the council is virtually taking away a legitimate authority of the federal government to make national standards, we should at least prevent economic and social impact justifications by the states having precedence over the importance of the environment protection measures. In the other amendments—I will flag them now just to save time—we will be proposing the following:

  A national environment protection measure laid before a House of the Parliament . . . must be accompanied by:

(a) a summary of the submissions received by the Council in relation to the measure; and

(b) the Council's responses to those submissions.".

Basically, the amendments that we are putting mirror the same concerns reflected by the Democrats. In view of the fact that the Greens do not support the overall impact of this bill and will not be supporting it, I flag that those amendments were an effort to ameliorate what we believe is the damage to the important environmental protection considerations.