Lake Eyre Basin (Intergovernmental Agreement) (Ratification Of Amendments) Amendment Bill

12 Feb 2008 archivespeech

This speech is to indicate the Liberal Party's support for the Lake Eyre Basin (Intergovernmental Agreement) (Ratification Of Amendments) Amendment Bill.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (16:48): I rise to indicate Liberal Party support for this bill, which amends the Lake Eyre Basin (Intergovernmental Agreement) Act 2001 to include parts of the Lake Eyre Basin that have the closest connection with the Northern Territory, which includes Finke and Hamilton/Alberta/Macumba rivers and catchments; Witjira National Park; Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Simpson Desert Regional Reserve; and the Neales, Umbum, Sunny and Douglas rivers and catchments.

This is not a particularly complicated measure (some two clauses, I think). The aim of the inter-government agreement is to provide for the development and implementation of policies and strategies concerning water and related natural resources in the Lake Eyre Basin and to eliminate, as far as possible, adverse cross-border impacts. My understanding is that in 2004 the Northern Territory became a party to the Lake Eyre Intergovernmental Agreement, which resulted in a review of the boundaries of the agreed area. We have before us an extension of the southern boundary, which effectively enlarges the catchments. I thank the minister and her departmental staff for providing me with a briefing.

The one question I have relates to whether this bill will have any impact on the pastoralists or mining leaseholders in that particular region and, if so, what that impact would be.