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Monday, 23 November 2009
Page: 8566


Senator SIEWERT (3:51 PM) —Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Leave is granted for two minutes.


Senator SIEWERT —The Senate debated this issue last week and the government is well aware why the Senate chose to disallow this particular threat abatement plan. It was because it was already outdated. The consultation process was not thorough. The information was from 2006. It was not a SMART program. I articulated the details during the debate, as did Senator Macdonald.

It is ridiculous for the government to claim that the Senate disallowing this particular threat abatement plan puts at risk the process for any threat abatement plan. Obviously, the threat abatement plans that have been passed by this place were reviewed and found to be satisfactory. The point here is that the Senate has done its job; it reviewed this threat abatement plan and found that it was unsatisfactory. The Greens—and Senator Macdonald also, I am sure—consulted the experts on Phytophthora cinnamomi, commonly known as ‘dieback’ in Australia, and were advised very clearly that the threat abatement plan was not adequate, was not what we would call a ‘smart program’ and was not efficient or effective. It did not have actions and, most of all, it did not have any resources attached to it with which to implement it. So whether it was the 2009—read ‘2006’, which was when it was first consulted on—plan or the 2001 plan is immaterial, because there are no resources attached to it and, therefore, no way of carrying out said plan. So we very strongly suggest that the Commonwealth does not spit its dummy. The government should develop a strong, effective, efficient and smart threat abatement plan, instead of threatening the Senate with taking its bat and going home on threat abatement plans in the future.

Question agreed to.