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Federal Water Legislation Passed

The Federal Senate has passed the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act amendment Bill. The updated legislation will mean the Commonwealth formally assumes responsibility for assessment of groundwater and surface water impacts relating to Major coal and Coal Seam Gas (CSG) projects.

The Independent Expert Scientific Committee will now have full legal power to ensure the Commonwealth government has the final say in protecting the nation’s water resources, without having to fall back on State-managed EIS and assessment processes.

 

The amendment was introduced to parliament by Independent MP Tony Windsor and was supported by the Labor Government and the Greens. The Coalition opposed the Bill and maintains concerns with the new legislation, adding that if they win the next election, they will continue to protect Australia’s water resources. Liberal senator Simon Birmingham committed to ensuing there will be no duplication of assessment processes run by the State and Commonwealth if the Coal, should the Coalition win the Election.

Federal Water Legislation Passed

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