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Monday, 17 June 2013
Page: 2942

Senator CONROY (VictoriaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) (13:13): The government will not be supporting the amendments. The proposed amendments would broaden the scope of the water trigger so that it may apply to shale gas, tight gas and underground coal gasification projects. The water trigger is intended to build on the objectives of the national partnership agreement, which is limited to coal seam gas and large coalmining. The proposed water trigger is also intended to build on the established role of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development. As noted in the Senate committee's report on the bill, the rapid and extensive development of coalmining and CSG mining, in particular, and the great community concern that these activities have raised require that concerns about these activities should be addressed. I will see if there is any further information. I suspect some of the questions you asked were slightly rhetorical, Senator, but, if there is any further information I can gather on those, I will seek to do so.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN ( Senator Bernardi ): I just point out for the benefit of senators that we have not actually had an amendment moved as yet. Senator Waters is still to do that. We are having a general discussion about this bill.