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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 8658


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (17:22): I say very clearly again that we, the government, have gone through all of the relevant and appropriate internal processes of government in determining our position in relation to this particular proposal, and this is now a matter to be considered by the Senate. If the Senate agrees with the amendments that have been foreshadowed by the Greens and which the government have indicated in this letter that we will support, there will be a full process of consultation including, if appropriate, with the state and territory governments. I might just add here, though, that the state and territory governments do not hold data on foreign ownership of water entitlements. So, while I understand that Senator Wong might be trying to prosecute a political point, I do not really understand how this question is motivated or where this question is coming from. But, given that we are committed to full public consultation, if any state or territory government has an interest in this matter, before any relevant decisions are finalised through this process envisaged in this letter, there will be consultation with relevant state and territory governments.