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Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Page: 9980

Senator CAROL BROWN (Tasmania) (18:12): by leave—I move opposition amendments (8) to (11) on sheet 8225 together:

(8) Clause 53, page 28 (after line 5), after subclause (1), insert:

(1A) The persons who undertake the review must undertake any consultation that is:

(a) considered by the persons to be appropriate; and

(b) reasonably practicable to undertake.

(1B) In determining whether any consultation that was undertaken is appropriate, the persons undertaking the review may have regard to any relevant matter, including the extent to which the consultation:

(a) drew on the knowledge of persons having expertise in fields relevant to the matters relevant to the review; and

(b) ensured that persons likely to be affected by the matters relevant to the review, including members of the general public, had an adequate opportunity to comment on the matters relevant to the review.

(9) Clause 53, page 28 (line 6), omit "1 July 2024", substitute "1 July 2023".

(10) Clause 53, page 28 (line 8), omit "30 June 2026", substitute "30 June 2024".

(11) Clause 53, page 28 (after line 11), at the end of subclause (2), add:

; and (c) the effectiveness of the Corporation in facilitating the administration of farm business loans, including the ability of the Corporation to assess loans in a manner, and within a timeframe, that facilities the timely provision of loans to farmers in need; and

(d) the ability of the Corporation to achieve national consistency in the provision and administration of loans; and

(e) the effectiveness of the Corporation, in delivering grants of financial assistance to States and Territories in relation to water infrastructure projects, to fast-track particular water infrastructure projects that are considered, by the State or Territory, to be a priority.

Labor's amendments are seeking to strengthen the review of the corporation. The current bill provides no detail about the scope of the review. It is important that the review reflects the objectives currently put forward by the minister as to why this corporation is necessary. It is also important to include detail about who can undertake the review. Again, this requirement is similar to what is detailed in the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act. To ensure that the corporation's review is independent of political interference, Labor believes that the requirements of the review should be proscribed in the current legislation. Labor further believes that the review date needs to be brought forward so that the work of the corporation can be assessed earlier as to whether it indeed is achieving the objectives stated by the government. Further, the review should be brought forward so that any recommendation of the review can be implemented in a timely manner.