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Water and Murray Darling Basin

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Estimates: Environment & Communications Legislation Committee (Shenhua and Adani coal mine approvals)

Senator RHIANNON: I have some questions about the kangaroo data and the release of it. It is with regard to the department's publishing of the collated state-by-state and per species kangaroo population estimate data.

Mr Knudson: If you are talking about something relating to wildlife in particular, that would again be outcome 1.4.

Senator RHIANNON: I was told it would be 1.5, because it is about kangaroo population numbers, but it relates to harvesting of them.

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Estimates: Environment & Communications Legislation Committee (Townsville RAAF contamination)

Lee questions the secretary of the Department of the Environment, Dr de Brouwer, and the chair of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Dr Reichelt, on the possibility of environmental damage arising from runoff of firefighting foam from the Townsville RAAF base.

CHAIR: Thank you for your patience, Senator Rhiannon.

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Labor and Coalition join forces to kneecap Murray Darling Basin Plan

The Australian Greens expressed disappointment that the Water Amendment Bill 2015 will now pass the Senate with the combined support of Labor and the Coalition.

The Bill sets an arbitrary cap 1,500 gigalitres of water the government can buy back from irrigators in order to ensure environmental flows.

"This Bill is all about Environment Minister Greg Hunt caving in to hardline Nationals. It's a bill all about politics, not good policy," Australian Greens spokesperson for water, Senator Rhiannon said.

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Speech: Water Amendment Bill 2015 second reading

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (17:44): The Water Amendment Bill is a sloppy piece of legislation. It is very confusing, and when you sit down and read it you really wonder what the purpose of it is. What is the intent? Clearly the government has an aim here. You start to wonder what the driver is. What is the political interest going on here? What was the intent of the Liberal and National Parties when they came up with this?

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Murray Darling Basin - Baldwin plan puts river health, communities at risk

Greens water spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has warned the Abbott-Truss government from using the stocktake of irrigation projects to justify winding up plans for retrieving water to ensure river health across the Murray Darling Basin.

"This stocktake looks like a ploy by Water Minister Bob Baldwin to justify the government's long term aim to allow big irrigators to retain water that should go back to the ailing river system," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Estimates: Environment and Communications Legislation Committee (Climate Change Authority)

Senator RHIANNON: In just sticking with the Commonwealth environmental water, is the government now favouring recovering water through subsidising irrigation upgrades?

Senator Birmingham: This government has always preferred investment in irrigation and infrastructure efficiency as the preferred means to recover water licences to go into the CEWO, whilst minimising social and economic impact, or at least providing some beneficial social and economic impacts.

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Abbott's mining companies win - National Water Commission shut down

Australian Greens water spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon says the Abbott government's friends in the mining industry will be celebrating today's vote in the Senate in favour of shutting down the National Water Commission.

"As a nation, we are facing major challenges to our water supplies. Mining impacted communities are especially at risk as the process uses vast amounts of water. The National Water commission provided crucial oversight of our water policies," said Senator Rhiannon.

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Speech: National Water Commission (Abolition) Bill 2014

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (10:45): The Greens do not support the amendments in the National Water Commission (Abolition) Bill 2014. The amendments do not improve the situation. We need to remember that this legislation is about removing the National Water Commission and that once the legislation has gone through that body is gone. The amendments that we now have before us to the Productivity Commission are not a saviour in any way at all, and that is what we need to be focusing on in this aspect of the debate.

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