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ENVIRONMENT—SNOWY WATER LICENCE REVIEW

Senator Siewert, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 668—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the failure of the New South Wales Government to establish the Snowy Scientific Committee in a timely fashion prior to the first 5 year review of the Snowy Water Licence, as required by legislation,

  (ii) that a decision on whether to allow environmental water to be released to the Snowy River from Mowamba Weir, in addition to Jindabyne Dam, would require at least 6 months to allow the Snowy Scientific Committee to complete further studies as required, and

  (iii) that a decision to amend the licence to allow environmental water releases via Mowamba Weir as well as Jindabyne Dam made after the finalisation of the Snowy Water Licence review could result in substantial compensation being provided to Snowy Hydro Limited; and


 (b) calls on the Commonwealth Government to insist that the New South Wales Government delay finalisation of the Snowy Water Licence review for at least 6 months, to allow the Snowy Scientific Committee to review the environmental benefits of permitting releases from Mowamba Weir, in order to make a decision on this issue during the time of the review and thus avoid the risk of unnecessary payment of compensation.

Question put and passed.

Statement by leave: Senator O'Brien, by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.