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ENVIRONMENT—SNOWY RIVER

Senator Siewert, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 482—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) that Sunday, 28 June 2009, is the 7th anniversary of the corporatisation of Snowy Hydro Limited, of which the Commonwealth, New South Wales and Victorian governments are shareholders, and


  (ii) the recent report of the Snowy Scientific Committee which warned that critical deep pools in the upper reaches of the Snowy River are `under threat of permanent or near permanent change';

 (b) expresses concern:

  (i) at the failure of the three governments to meet legislated targets for returning environmental flows to the Snowy River, which should have seen the return of 15 per cent annual natural flow to the river by 2009, rather than the 46.7GL or just over 4 per cent planned to be delivered in 2009-10, and

  (ii) at the recommissioning of the Mowamba Aqueduct, diverting the waters of the Mowamba River to Lake Jindabyne, and calls for the suspension of repayment of the Mowamba Borrowings Account from the Snowy River environmental allocation and the permanent decommissioning of the aqueduct; and

 (c) calls on:

  (i) the New South Wales Government to release the long overdue draft report of the first five-year review on the Snowy Water Licence, which was due in 2007, and

  (ii) the Commonwealth to commit additional resources for the immediate purchase of high security water entitlements to meet the commitment to return 21 per cent of annual natural flows to the Snowy River by 2012 and 28 per cent of natural flows beyond 2012.

Statement by leave: The Special Minister of State (Senator Ludwig), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 6

Senators—

Brown, Bob

Hanson-Young

Ludlam

Milne

Siewert (Teller)

Xenophon

NOES, 36

Senators—

Abetz

Adams

Arbib

Back

Bernardi

Birmingham

Bushby

Cameron

Collins

Cormann

Crossin

Farrell

Feeney

Ferguson

Fielding

Fisher

Forshaw

Hogg

Humphries

Hurley

Joyce

Ludwig

Marshall

McEwen

McLucas

Minchin

Moore

Nash

O'Brien

Parry (Teller)

Pratt

Ronaldson

Ryan

Troeth

Williams

Wong

Question negatived.