On 18 October 2017, the Senate referred the following matters related to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 27 March 2018:
The adequacy of the regulatory framework governing water use by the extractive industry, with particular reference to:
- the social, economic and environmental impacts of extractive projects’ take and use of water;
- existing safeguards in place to prevent the damage, contamination or draining of Australia’s aquifers and water systems;
- any gaps in the regulatory framework which may lead to adverse social, economic or environmental outcomes, as a result of the take and use of water by extractive projects;
- any difference in the regulatory regime surrounding the extractive industry’s water use, and that of other industries;
- the effectiveness of the ‘water trigger’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 , and the value in expanding the ‘trigger’ to include other projects, such as shale and tight gas; and
- any other related matters.
The closing date for submissions is 15 December 2017.
On 13 February 2018, the Senate granted an extension of time to report until 27 June 2018.
Committee Secretariat contact:
Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications
PO Box 6100
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: +61 2 6277 3585
Fax: +61 2 6277 5794