Friday, 15 March 2013

How effective will be Burke's changes to the EPBC Act in "fixing" legislation to give power over impact on water?

Denis Wilson of The Nature of Robertson has written as follows:

The attached paper outlines various deficiencies which the Lock the Gate people are concerned about. These are the changes to the EPBC Act which Tony Burke has introduced (but which have not yet been debated).

With regard to their concern about the Bill not covering existing projects, I doubt that their proposed "fix" would survive a legal challenge. Their proposal would be categorised as "retrospective legislation" (as far as I understand the issues). But I am not a Lawyer, merely a former bureaucrat, and observer of things Political.

Still, I support what they are doing in this paper, namely identifying shortcomings in the Minister's proposal.

I am already on record as suggesting that it was little more than a "thought bubble" by the Minister, designed to gather headlines at a time when the Labor Party wanted to be seen to be doing something about CSG. 
  • For example, if the Minister was concerned about CSG, why did he approve the Gloucester AGL plans about 2 weeks in advance of his introduction of these restrictions?
Policy making on the run is always going to be problematic.
So good on Lock the Gate for trying to tighten some of the loopholes.


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