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Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Page: 1229

Senator MILNE (10:37 AM) —I am interested in the minister’s response. In my wildest dreams I would love to think that such a bill precluded a whole lot of new freeways, but it never occurred to me for a moment that it precluded roads. The issue was that I wanted to make sure that it specifically included urban public transport and urban passenger rail. Those were the things that I specifically asked about. I never dreamt for a moment that it was not going to include roads, because my nightmare is that it will only be roads. The question is specifically in relation to urban passenger rail and urban public transport. I welcome the minister’s commitment that it will include urban public transport and urban passenger rail. That is now on the record.

In relation to climate change, the minister said that, for the reasons that he has outlined, he is not supporting the amendment. But he has not outlined any reasons. I would like to know specifically why it is that Infrastructure Australia does not have a mandatory function of providing advice on greenhouse gas and peak oil implications and why that advice will only be required by the government at the discretion of Infrastructure Australia or at the discretion of the minister. What is your objection to making the greenhouse gas and oil implications of any recommendation infrastructure development necessary advice to the minister? Why are you opposing that?