TWO amendments moved by Page MP Kevin Hogan in relation to the CSG water trigger legislation have provided the greatest standard of protection for water resources in the nation’s history.
Mr Hogan moved the amendments last night that for the first time will mandate the state and territory government must seek and take into account advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC).
Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the Hogan amendments created a higher “standard that was never there under the previous government”.
“These are valuable amendments that ad additions protection to water resources – the most protection that has ever been given under Australian law,” he said.
“They strengthen the role of the IESC and the safeguard system throughout the entire state and commonwealth system and as a consequence the states will actually be subject to more rigorous standards than has ever been the case.”
“Mr Hogan, and the Government, working with the farming community and the states, produced these amendments and for the first time ever states will be subject to this requirement.”
Mr Hogan proposed the two amendments to the government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (that contains the ‘Water Trigger’ for proposed CSG developments) after extensive consultations with NSW Farmers, the National Farmers Federal, as well as the NSW and Queensland governments.
“I am proud to have successfully moved these amendments that build on and strengthen the existing Water Trigger,” Mr Hogan said.
The second amendment also allows the Federal Environment Minister to request information from the IESC in relation to water trigger and, for example, the advice on the extent to which a state or territory had assessed the impact of the development and considered the initial advice of the IESC.
Mr Hunt said the Hogan Amendments strengthened the role of the independent scientific expert committee and “safeguarded” the system and “as a consequence the states will actually be subject to more rigorous standards than has ever been the case”.
“The Member for Page has been a great advocate and a true parliamentarian in the course of this process. He has helped in the crafting of the design of the legislative amendments, he has advocated a policy position and it is common sense, and I think this has strengthened the process significantly.”