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Govt ignores evidence to retain National Water Commission

25 November 2014

The Liberal/National government has made a mockery of the Senate Inquiry into the National Water Commission (Abolition) Bill says Greens water spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"The Coalition government is following their track record of riding roughshod over democracy in an attempt to have their legislation passed," said Senator Rhiannon.

"The government's report, released today, ignores the vast majority of submissions to the inquiry which supported the retention of the National Water Commission.

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Estimates: National Water Commission

National Water Commission

[16:56]

CHAIR: Welcome. Would you like to make a short statement?

Ms Olsson : No, thank you.

CHAIR: Then we will go straight to questions.

Senator RHIANNON: Has the National Water Commission been consulted in relation to any of the government's initiatives to build dams and other water infrastructure projects in Australia?

Ms Olsson : Not over this recent period, no.

Senator RHIANNON: When you say 'recent period'-

Ms Olsson : I mean not under this government.

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Greens Senator Rhiannon in Gloucester, backs opposition to AGL frack plan

Greens Senator and water spokesperson Lee Rhiannon will be in Gloucester today to support community protests over AGL's plan to frack for coal seam gas in the region.

"This is a high risk project which should never have been approved," said Senator Rhiannon.

"AGL is putting the communities' health and water at risk all for the sake of increasing exports. This is not a fair deal, especially for the people who have to live next to the wells.

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Senate passes Rhiannon/Xenophon motion to retain the National Water Commission

The Senate today passed a motion from Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and independent Senator Nick Xenophon calling on the federal government to retain the National Water Commission.

"Today we have seen that commitment to protect our water cuts across party lines. The motion passed with the support of Senators Nick Xenophon, Ricky Muir and John Madigan as well as the Greens and Labor," said Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"The Abbott government's recent decision to close down the National Water Commission follows the closure of state water oversight bodies.

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Motion: National Water Commission

The Senate passed a motion from Lee and Senator Nick Xenophon in support of the National Water Commission.

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (12:02): I, and also on behalf of Senator Xenophon, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) water is one of our most important resources and is critical to Australia's economic growth,

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Closure of National Water Commission part of wider Coalition plan to shut down scrutiny

The Greens say there is mounting evidence that the Liberal party is moving to shut down the independent oversight of water at a state and federal level.

Greens water spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon outlined this worrying trend in a major speech in the federal parliament .

"The Abbott government's recent decision to close down the National Water Commission follows the closure of state water oversight bodies," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Adjournment speech: National Water Commission

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (22:03): Among the numerous disappointments coming from the federal government, it is fair to say that the decision to shut down the National Water Commission is but one. But this is one that deserves close attention. As a nation, we are facing major challenges to our water supplies. The biggest threat, however, is the complete disregard from the federal government for the importance of this issue.

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Media Release: Coalition infrastructure plan puts Murray Darling Basin at risk

MEDIA RELEASE
2 June 2014

Coalition infrastructure plan puts Murray Darling Basin at risk

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has said the Federal Government's strategy to further cut water buybacks will put the Murray Darling Basin Plan at risk.

"The move away from water buybacks to the less reliable and more costly program of infrastructure investment is a high risk strategy," said Senator Rhiannon.

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