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Digital ID is just another step to control your life

Who is ultimately responsible for Digital ID?

Not only is Digital ID going to be a threat to your privacy, it seems like it’s going to be a dog’s breakfast when it comes to holding authorities to account as to who is responsible for your data.

The private sector claims that your data will stay with the companies you initially provide you data to while the RBA seems to want an overarching central authority.

Clear as mud isn’t it. Just the way the authorities want it.

Environment and Communications Legislation Committee
23/10/2023
Estimates
CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER PORTFOLIO
Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water

Senator RENNICK: Hi guys, how are you going? My questions are directed to the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner. Has your department done an assessment on the impact of renewables on endangered or threatened species?

Mr Knudson : I think the short answer is: we will have for individual projects that have come forward for approval, such as wind farms et cetera. I think Ms Kennedy may also have something to add from the overall biodiversity perspective.

Ms Kennedy : The Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner is in my division. As Mr Knudson has just said, individual conservation plans that we prepare for species take into account relevant threats to species, including, where relevant, impacts of offshore wind and other things like that.

Senator RENNICK: I know you can do it project by project, but are you also doing a consolidated national perspective of, say, how many koalas, hairy-nosed wombats or wedge-tailed eagles could be wiped and the impact offshore wind turbines on marine life? Have you got a national perspective on that as well? Do you do an annual national report on how many endangered species are being killed as these things are being built?

Senator McAllister: Senator Rennick, I said this to you this morning, or maybe it was earlier this afternoon: from a conservation perspective, with the way the law is administered and the way the policy settings are administered, it’s not so much the particular nature of the project as the fact that all projects are evaluated where they trigger national environmental laws for their impact on the environment; otherwise those matters are dealt with by state approval bodies.

Senator RENNICK: That’s all very good, but net zero is a federal government policy—

Senator McAllister: It’s actually coalition policy as well, Gerard!

Senator RENNICK: Well, not all of us agreed with it. You know some of us didn’t get a say.

Senator McAllister: Thanks for clarifying.

Senator RENNICK: Whether you like it or not, regardless of where it came from, it’s a federal government policy of both governments. We’re doing this to save the environment. The Australian people have a right to know the impact of building this rapid industrialisation of renewables across the landscape on endangered and threatened species. Is the federal government going to take a consolidated, top-down, national approach? I can assure you a hairy-nosed wombat doesn’t look at himself as being a Queenslander or from New South Wales. We’re all Australians here. I want to know that all our species are protected from renewables. Is that being monitored or not?

Senator Cox interjecting—

Mr Fredericks : Can I pick that up? It’s a conversation you and I had this morning.

Senator RENNICK: Senator Cox, you are in the Greens. You should be caring about the environment.

CHAIR: We’re not going to have an argument across the table, thank you very much.

Senator RENNICK: Well, could you ask her to be quiet please.

Senator Cox interjecting—

CHAIR: Senator Rennick, you’ve asked the question. Senator Cox, thank you very much. Mr Fredericks, please go ahead—hopefully, in silence.

Mr Fredericks : In this instance on this particular issue, the approach that you’re raising is effectively done threatened species by threatened species. I’ll have Ms Kennedy explain more to you, but when a conservation plan or recovery plan is created for a species in a particular place or more broadly, that is the point in time when the analysis that you’re describing—that is, what impact of all manner of threat to that species—is taken into account. It is done species by species. It is not done in a national, aggregate way.

Senator RENNICK: Thanks, Secretary. I appreciate that. This will be my last question. Do you do species by species on a national basis? Say, for example, koalas. Is there an annual report that says: ‘In regard to koalas, they occupy this much habitat. This percentage of this much habitat will be eroded or threatened by the construction of renewables.’ Likewise for, say, wedge-tailed eagles—that’s one that’s quite controversial at the moment. We’re seeing them on the ground under wind turbines. Can we get, for example, a report on the impact that wind farms are having on wedge-tailed eagles across the country?

Mr Knudson : One of the things, as part of the reforms that we’re prosecuting, is the establishment of Environment Information Australia. That will constitute an entity that will report on the state of the environment on a rolling basis—each five years—and then also updates as need be. That will report on not only how the populations are going but also trend analysis, so you’ll be able to see which way different species are going. The other piece that we’re complementing that with is the recovery strategies, which will indicate what the key threats are to those species. For example, you talked about wedge-tailed eagles. Because of the way that it flies, that is a species that we’re very concerned about, with individual project assessments where it is core habitat for that species, and we’re working with proponents on how to mitigate the effects on them. Sometimes it boils down to an individual project on a wind farm, but we want to be sure that we’re reporting nationally on the overall trends for a species, and we’re embedding that in the reforms.

Senator RENNICK: If we could do that annually, rather than every five years, that’d be better, but thank you.

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Gerard