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Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Page: 7263

Senator NASH (9:31 PM) —I will just add a few further comments. Perhaps, colleagues, we have hit a nerve, judging by the initial response we got from the minister around this amendment. I would like to add one point, in placing further comments on record about the intimation from the minister that we on this side are playing politics with this pipeline, that what we are putting forward in an amendment to ensure that the water cannot be taken out of the basin is playing politics. I would suggest to the minister that every single one of those communities affected by this pipeline going ahead is not saying that we are playing politics. I would say that every single one of those farming families, and other families in the communities that rely on that water, do not think we are playing politics. I would say that every single person that is affected in the Murray-Darling Basin, and all of those other people, perhaps from the other states, who are not even affected but can realise the stupidity of this pipeline going forward, does not think we are playing politics. Perhaps if the minister actually ventured out to a few rural and regional communities occasionally they would tell her that the opposition is not playing politics with this issue.

The minister has an opportunity here to agree to this amendment. She has an opportunity here to make sure that this—as my colleague so perfectly put it—wrong pipeline stops. Do not listen to what the minister is saying around playing politics and all the hyperbole; the fact is that this pipeline is in place to go ahead and the minister, by agreeing to this amendment, has the power to stop it.