Wong ducks for cover over Lower Lakes spending

  The Rudd Labor Government has attempted to avoid scrutiny in relation to the level of urgency being shown in addressing the health of the Lower Lakes, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   At Senate Budget Estimates, Senator Birmingham asked about the length of time being taken to start rolling out $10 million in funding…

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Rudd Government breaks Pirie water promise

  The Rudd Labor Government has broken its promise to give urgent attention to a major Port Pirie water recycling proposal, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   The project is expected to reduce Port Pirie’s reliance on the River Murray by 60 per cent, yet Water Minister Penny Wong was unable to answer even basic…

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Kimba TV coverage features in Senate estimates

  Television coverage for Kimba and surrounding areas was high on the agenda of Senate estimates hearings last week, with Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham pursuing the broadcast boundaries that cause the Kimba area to receive Imparja ahead of local Southern Cross GTS/BKN television.   Senator Birmingham pursued the issue at hearings with the Australian Communications…

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All blubber, no bone in Government whaling plans

  Environment Minister Peter Garrett has decided that he should attend the meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Portugal next month instead of his much touted Whaling Envoy, Sandy Hollway, it was revealed today.   Questioning in Senate Estimates today revealed that despite spending more than $309,106.36 for Mr Hollway’s fees and travel costs,…

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Regional communications promise on the never never

  $325 million promised by Labor for regional communications has vanished from the budget, leaving regional Australia with little hope of seeing improved services, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   Under questioning in Senate Budget Estimates today it was revealed that of the $400 million interest earned by the former Communications Fund – and promised…

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Rudd Government ‘Indian givers’ to SBS

  Supposed extra funding for SBS might be little more than an accounting trick, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   The Rudd Government claimed in its recent budget that it was allocating additional funding of $20 million over three years to SBS.   However, in Senate Budget Estimates today it was revealed that the Government…

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Senators united in opposing pipeline

  Coalition, Greens and Independent Senators have today expressed unusually strong and united opposition to the Victorian Government’s Sugarloaf Pipeline now under construction, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   The parties have taken the rare step of issuing a consensus dissenting report to the Government-controlled majority report for the Senate inquiry into the Water Amendment…

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Missing water will cost millions

  The failure to include water issues and management of the Murray-Darling Basin on the agenda for tomorrow’s COAG meeting will cost taxpayers millions in legal fees, according to Liberal Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham.   The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meets in Hobart tomorrow.   “With South Australia threatening to take Victoria…

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The warning label Mr Rudd should have at COAG:

  Plans by the Prime Minister to talk about alcohol warning labels at the COAG meeting in Adelaide today but not the River Murray just aren’t good enough according to South Australian Senator Simon Birmingham.   “Making alcohol producers put warning labels on their products is an easy decision for a Prime Minister looking for…

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