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Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Page: 61

Senator Brown asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 2 March 2004:

With reference to an attachment to the Prime Minister's letter to Senator Lees, dated 31 May 1999, entitled `Changes to the goods and services tax (GST)', in which it was stated that `the Government intends upon passage of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Bill 1998 it will commence a process of consultation with the states and other stakeholders on the issue of applying a Commonwealth greenhouse trigger under that legislation in relation to new projects that would be major emitters of greenhouse gases': (a) can details be provided for each year from 2000-01 to 2003-04 of the consultation work that has so far been undertaken; and (b) does the Government intend to introduce a greenhouse trigger into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 during its next term of office.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(a) A consultation paper on the possible application of a greenhouse trigger under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 was released for public comment in December 1999. During the periods in question (2000-2004) the following steps were taken:

release of a model trigger design in May 2000;

release of a discussion paper and draft greenhouse trigger regulation in November 2000; and

formal consultation process with the States and Territories in accordance with section 25(3) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Further consideration of the greenhouse trigger proposal may be undertaken in the context of the Australian Government's overall response to climate change.

(b) Any announcement regarding the Government's intentions in relation to a greenhouse trigger will be made at an appropriate time.