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Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Page: 7244

Senator NASH (8:13 PM) —The coalition certainly recognises the intent of the amendment that Senator Xenophon is putting forward here this evening. There is indeed a recognition of the speed at which we should be moving forward with the plan. However, in terms of putting an interim Basin Plan in place, there was a level of concern from many industry groups that appeared before the inquiry about the necessity of doing that, perhaps because of the duplication that would arise as a result of that. But we do take on board Senator Xenophon’s intent in trying to relay the urgency, from his perspective, of what he would like to do.

One of the things that I would point out is that a lot of the planning could already have taken place under the old Water Act 2007, as I am sure the minister is well aware, and the minister could have begun under the act standing. There certainly has been a degree of speculation that perhaps nothing can move forward until we move to the new legislation, but I think even the minister would recognise that there is a degree of planning and forward movement on reform that could already be taking place. So I indicate to the Senate that the coalition will not be supporting the amendment of Senator Xenophon.