Senator Siewert» (Western Australia) asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, upon notice, on 3 September 2008:
With reference to the findings of recent reports, such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's Water availability in the Murray: A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project , dated July 2008 and Water availability in the Goulburn-Broken: A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project , dated May 2008 and the report by the Murray-Darling Basin Commission Sustainable Rivers Audit: A report on the ecological health of rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin, 2004-2007 , dated June 2008, which suggest that the impacts on the Goulburn and Murray systems of sending water to Melbourne may be much greater then initially thought: Will the Sugarloaf Pipeline proposal be reconsidered under section 78A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity 48 No. 27-4 September 2008 Conservation Act 1999 to assess its impact on the Ramsar-listed wetlands further down the river system and the migratory bird species which are protected by international conventions; if not, why not.
Senator Wong (South Australia) (Minister for Climate Change and Water) -The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:
The decision that the Sugarloaf Pipeline Project is a controlled action was reconsidered under s. 78A of the EPBC Act, by the Minister's delegate. As part of the statutory reconsideration process, each of the documents to which the Honourable Senator refers was taken into consideration. The outcome of the reconsideration is that the original decision was confirmed on 5 September 2008.