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Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Page: 7247


Senator XENOPHON (8:26 PM) —I move amendment (3) standing in my name on sheet 5649:

(3)    Schedule 2, page 293 (after line 7), after item 45, insert:

45A  Before paragraph 20(a)

Insert:

            (aa)    the Authority to take a whole of Basin approach in managing Basin water resources, taking into account environmental, social, economic and hydrological considerations;

This relates to a whole-of-basin approach in terms of the way that the authority will function. It makes explicit what some would say is implicit in the bill, but I think it is important that it be clear that what is being proposed is spelt out in the context of the authority’s functions. I would urge senators to support this particular amendment. The amendment makes it clear that the authority should take a whole-of-basin approach when preparing a Basin Plan. It requires a Basin Plan to take into account environmental, social, economic and hydrological considerations and to set out environmental objectives for each part of the system. Section 20 of the bill requires a Basin Plan to set out environmental objectives for each part of the system but does not necessarily require these objectives to be defined in a manner that reflects the impact of one part of the system on all other parts. This amendment effectively promotes a holistic approach to the Basin Plan which, at present, appears to be lacking, other than in the form of some subtle undertones.