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Johnny-come-lately?

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 5 Feb 2007

Water plan clearly rushed - PM missed big opportunity

"It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Prime Minister's big spending water plan is policy on the run," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"It is an effort to neutralise water and climate as election issues with buckets of money, rather than a thought-through whole-of-government approach."

"Not only did the PM fail to consult with the States, but we now learn that he also failed to talk to key decision makers within government departments," said Senator Siewert.

"It is clear that as recently as December the Government was not thinking seriously about water, otherwise they would not have rejected Green efforts to add water management to the list of environmental triggers when we debated the Environment and Heritage Legislation in the Senate," said Senator Siewert.

Last December the Government spurned Greens efforts in the Senate to give the Commonwealth greater powers of oversight on water. On 7th December Senator Siewert moved amendments to add a water trigger to the items of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act.

"This would have given the Commonwealth additional powers to act to regulate the extraction and interception of water," said Senator Siewert.

"In December the Government was avoiding responsibility for water, but by January the polls were saying it was a hot issue - so we get policy-on-the-run," she concluded.

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