(Bevan:  Simon Birmingham is a South Australian Liberal Senator … good morning Simon … ) Good morning, I just wanted to respond to Senator Xenophon’s comments this morning, and particularly his comments in relation to the water bill and the position that the Coalition took in relation to that bill.  I was very pleased to take a leading role in arguing for amendments to try to stop the north / south pipeline and to try to improve the bill, but it’s important to understand that the Liberal Party never opposed the bill.  We simply sought to try to make it better.  In the end it was the government in the House of Representatives that opposed those changes (Bevan:  oh come on Sen-)  And blocked them (Bevan:  Senator Birmingham.  We had Greg Hunt on this program, the Liberal spokesman on water and he left us with the very clear impression that the Liberal Party were going to amend the legislation to stop that pipeline going ahead, and left us with the impression that if that didn’t, if that wasn’t accepted by the Lower House, then the bill was at risk, it was going to fail.  In fact, nothing like that happened)  David, amend that legislation we did and you both know, as your listeners know, in our bicameral system it takes two to tango (Bevan: yeah, well it was sent back [unclear] agreed to it, you’re just going through the motions)   And in the end we weren’t going through the motions at all, but we were very mindful of the expert advice we had.  And let me just give you a couple of quick comments.  Professor Mike Young who told the Senate committee into this bill the time has come to expedite implementation, we could go on arguing about reforms and trying to improve things but the cost to communities and to the river itself is too high.  (Bevan:  So, when you said , when your party said, ‘we’re going to dig in on this you didn’t really mean ‘dig in for the long term’, you just meant for a week or two.)  Well we never meant that we would block national water reform, which we started, which Malcolm Turnbull started, indefinitely.  Obviously that was never going to be sustainable.  We believe national water reform is vital.  Nick Xenophon believes it’s vital as well I’m sure, (Bevan:  yeah but) Nick I know respects that Mike Young and Dr. Button from the Australian Conservation Foundation who gave us the same message that we could keep arguing about improving an imperfect bill or we could simply get on with the job.  Now, we argued about improving it for as long as we could but in the end when the government, when – (Abraham: … – you could have made it a condition of passage of bill that the north / south pipeline at least be informally included in managing the resource of the Murray Darling Basin)  and the government made it very clear they were never going to accept that condition.  So [unclear] gone around and around in circles  (Abraham:  so you folded, …)  we could have gone around and around in circles on this.  Prime Minister Rudd, Peter Garrett, Penny Wong all made it quite clear they were not going to accept amendments from the Liberal Party on this.  They weren’t going to give an inch of ground and so we had the choice.  We could indefinitely block the national water reform or we could see national water reforms go through, continue to fight on the north / south pipeline.  That’s why I’ve introduced a Private Members Bill to try to push that through the Senate, give the government all of the opportunity to (Bevan:  Next time … you ring us and tell our listeners you’re going to block something, should we take you at your word?)  We obviously, if we controlled both houses of Parliament we would be able to do all of those things  (Bevan:  No, … in the current, under the current circumstances, next time you ring up and say, ‘I’m going to block something shall we just take that with a big bag of salt?’)  David, no.  Not at all.  Look, we will obviously try to do the best that we possibly can.  It’s very easy for Independents and Minor Parties to posture to try to have their cake and eat it too.  In the end we’ve got to try to make decisions in the national interest.  That means trying to get the best possible outcome through the Parliament.  That’s why we fought to try to get the changes to this pipeline, to get it blocked, but if the government isn’t going to listen to the will of the Senate, respect the Senate’s will, then we can simply put up an enormous road block.  That won’t help the nation at all.  We’re trying to actually make sure that we exercise the power we have in the Senate and the power we have as Opposition responsibly.  (Abraham:  So really, um from this point on, when you do call in and say – or we do an interview with you, or with Greg Hunt or with Nick Minchin, and you say you’re going to block this measure in the Senate, we should not take that seriously.  It should be, ‘well you may or you may not’.  Because you’ve just said you just don’t have, the reality is that it can’t happen.  So you – what it sounds like is that there’s a big rethinking going on of how you approach these things in the Senate after the unhappy experiences of the last week.)   Well Matthew, the reality is that we only have influence in the Senate.  We get that influence through co operation with independents and [unclear] parties.  If they support it we can get some things done in the Senate but if the government won’t respond to the Senate in the Lower House then all we do is go around and around in circles.  (Abraham: ok, which is) We never said we would block the water bill (Abraham:  which is I think what’s starting to happen to this interview) Which is important to understand.  We never said we’d block the water bill.  We said we’d attempt to put amendments forward and that’s what we did.  (Abraham:  as I said … this is what is starting to happen in the interview.  So I think you have made, put your point as Chris Pyne did yesterday.  So there’s been an adequate opportunity to do so.  We do thank you Simon Birmingham … responding to Nick Xenophon this morning who said, ‘don’t waste my time if you’re going to do this again’. )