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Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Page: 7267


Senator BIRMINGHAM (9:54 PM) —I have another quick question for the minister. The minister stated a couple of times that she believes this amendment would undermine the IGA—the intergovernmental agreement entered into by the Commonwealth with the states and territories and the basin jurisdictions. In evidence to the Senate inquiry undertaken into this bill, Dr Horne, from your department, was asked some fairly specific questions about this issue. He was asked:

Is there anything in the IGA or agreements leading to this bill or within this bill that actually requires the north-south pipeline to be built?

To which he replied, ‘Not at all.’ He was further asked:

Or the Commonwealth to support or facilitate the building of the north-south pipeline?

His reply was, ‘No, not at all—nothing at all.’ Given his fairly emphatic responses that there was nothing requiring support for this pipeline from the Commonwealth, or nothing particularly in the IGA that required the building of this pipeline, why is the minister so emphatic that this amendment is a danger to that agreement?