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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7845

Senator CAROL BROWN (Tasmania) (12:23): Labor will be supporting the government's amendments because they do provide additional confidence that water proposals which will be put forward by the responsible ministers to the RIC within the Murray-Darling Basin will need to comply with the basin plan. The amendments will also require the RIC board to consult with the basin authority. I'm not surprised that Senator Xenophon talked about ambiguity in this area, because that ambiguity and that concern follows some of the statements made by the Deputy Prime Minister in response to allegations that water is being taken out of the basin: essentially, that there was nothing to see here.

This is another example of why this corporation is different from other, similar entities. The influence of the responsible ministers means that the corporation lacks the proper independence and transparency required for the corporation to work effectively and efficiently. But we, as I have said, will be supporting the government's amendments.