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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7899

Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (15:38): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator McGRATH: This inquiry is unnecessary, as safeguards are already in place to sustainably manage water resources. The Water Act governs water extraction in the Murray-Darling Basin, and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act has a water trigger requiring environmental assessment for coal seam gas and large coalmining development that may significantly impact water resources. A 2017 independent water trigger review found it is an appropriate mechanism to manage risks to water resources. A review of the EPBC Act will also commence by 2019, including the operation of the act as it relates to extractive industries. The government sees no justification for this inquiry. It notes the ongoing workloads of committees and committee secretariats and expresses its concern at additional references.

Question agreed to.