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11    Environment and Communications References Committee—Reference —Regulatory framework governing water use

The Chair of the Environment and Communications References Committee (Senator Rice), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved business of the Senate notice of motion no. 1—That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by the second last sitting day in March 2018:

The adequacy of the regulatory framework governing water use by the extractive industry, with particular reference to:

               (a)       the social, economic and environmental impacts of extractive projects’ take and use of water;

               (b)       existing safeguards in place to prevent the damage, contamination or draining of Australia’s aquifers and water systems;

                (c)       any gaps in the regulatory framework which may lead to adverse social, economic or environmental outcomes as a result of the take and use of water by extractive projects;

               (d)       any difference in the regulatory regime surrounding the extractive industry’s water use, and that of other industries;

                (e)       the effectiveness of the ‘water trigger’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 , and the value in expanding the ‘trigger’ to include other projects, such as shale and tight gas; and

                (f)       any other related matters.

Statement by leave : The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (Senator McGrath), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.