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 Opposition fears water could be at risk (AUS) 
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Post Opposition fears water could be at risk (AUS)
Opposition fears water could be at risk

Jul 06, 2011 9:01pm

THE federal opposition fears a carbon credits scheme paid to farmers could adversely impact water supplies.

The government is attempting to push through parliament laws which would pay farmers for storing carbon in trees and soil.

But the coalition and independent senator Nick Xenophon says it's ridiculous to debate the bill before Labor announces details of its planned carbon price on Sunday.

Senator Xenophon introduced an amendment to the bill tonight calling for the minister to exclude a project from the carbon credits scheme if it adversely impacts on the availability of water or land and resource access for agricultural production.

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence David Feeney said the government would oppose the amendment.

Nationals senator Fiona Nash said she could only conclude that meant the government was considering giving a green light to projects that could harm water supplies and access to land.

"It worries me if this government isn't prepared to say right here and right now that we won't allow anything that's going to have an adverse impact on water or on land and resource access. Why not?," Senator Nash said in the Senate.

"We will not, on this side of the chamber, stand here and accept that this government is going to allow any level of risk for adverse impact on those things for our community. It is simply not acceptable."

Senator Feeney did not directly answer her questions before the debate was adjourned.

All sides of politics were angry on Wednesday with the government's handling of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011, which has been debated over the past two days.

The opposition and Australians Greens said it was disrespectful and offensive to the Senate that Senator Feeney and Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans were sent in to the chamber to answer questions on a bill they knew nothing about.

Unbeknown to senators, Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig was announcing Australia's ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia had been lifted.

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Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:44 am
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