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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 4255

Senator SIEWERT (9:56 AM) —I move:

That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   that Sunday, 28 June 2009, is the 7th anniversary of the corporatisation of Snowy Hydro Limited, of which the Commonwealth, New South Wales and Victorian governments are shareholders, and

(ii)   the recent report of the Snowy Scientific Committee which warned that critical deep pools in the upper reaches of the Snowy River are ‘under threat of permanent or near permanent change’;

(b)   expresses concern:

(i)   at the failure of the three governments to meet legislated targets for returning environmental flows to the Snowy River, which should have seen the return of 15 per cent annual natural flow to the river by 2009, rather than the 46.7GL or just over 4 per cent planned to be delivered in 2009-10, and

(ii)   at the recommissioning of the Mowamba Aqueduct, diverting the waters of the Mowamba River to Lake Jindabyne, and calls for the suspension of repayment of the Mowamba Borrowings Account from the Snowy River environmental allocation and the permanent decommissioning of the aqueduct; and

(c)   calls on:

(i)   the New South Wales Government to release the long overdue draft report of the first five-year review on the Snowy Water Licence, which was due in 2007, and

(ii)   the Commonwealth to commit additional resources for the immediate purchase of high security water entitlements to meet the commitment to return 21 per cent of annual natural flows to the Snowy River by 2012 and 28 per cent of natural flows beyond 2012.