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7       Future Drought Fund Bill 2019

Future Drought Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019

Messages from the House of Representatives were reported transmitting for the concurrence of the Senate the following bills:

Message no. 16, dated 23 July 2019—A Bill for an Act to establish the Future Drought Fund, and for other purposes.

Message no. 17, dated 23 July 2019—A Bill for an Act to deal with consequential matters arising from the enactment of the Future Drought Fund Act 2019 , and for other purposes.

The Minister for Finance (Senator Cormann) moved—That these bills may proceed without formalities, may be taken together and be now read a first time.

Question put and passed.

Bills read a first time.

Senator Cormann moved—That these bills be now read a second time.

Debate ensued.

Senator Gallagher moved the following amendment:

At the end of the motion, add “but the Senate:

                          (a)      condemns the Government for its failure over six years to develop and implement a comprehensive and effective policy to assist rural and regional communities facing severe drought conditions; and

                          (b)      notes that the inferior response contained in the bill requires the abolition of the Building Australia Fund, which could be used to build road, rail, and other vital infrastructure-including water infrastructure-in these very same rural and regional communities”.

Debate ensued.

At 2 pm : Debate was interrupted while Senator Watt was speaking.