ABOUT

Western Australians love our natural environment. We marvel at the beauty of tiny wildflowers and vast landscapes. Our forests, rivers, beaches and woodlands; our clean water and fresh air; and our unique wildlife together form the natural heritage that supports our communities and maintains our health and wellbeing.

For over 45 years, the Conservation Council has been Western Australia’s outspoken and independent voice for the environment and communities.

As Western Australia’s peak environmental group we represent tens of thousands of individual supporters and over 100 Member Groups with diverse interests across the state.

We inspire people to work together, to value and protect nature and to build sustainable communities that can support future generations as well as our own.

We work directly with community groups, government, media, industry, and political parties.

Through advocacy, research, policy development, partnerships and community engagement, we help create a sustainable future that all Western Australians can look forward to.

From the rugged far north of the Kimberley, to the green forested South West and our amazing coastline and unique marine life, CCWA speaks for the protection and conservation of all nature in Western Australia.

From the protection of natural areas and wildlife to building sustainable communities; our work leaves an enduring legacy for future generations. 

NEWS

Gas Industry Downturn Proves Government Needs To Look Elsewhere To Boost Economy

MEDIA RELEASE – 23RD MARCH

 Gas Industry Downturn Proves Government Needs To Look Elsewhere To Boost Economy 

The Conservation Council of WA has warned that the State Government needs to look elsewhere to boost the economy, with signs the WA gas industry is struggling financially and failing to gain the support of communities.

Woodside Petroleum has announced its Browse Liquefied Natural Gas has been put project on hold due to falling oil and gas prices while WA-based Fracking Company Buru Energy has reported a major decline in shareholder value.

“These announcements confirm that the State Government is barking up the wrong tree if it was hoping that the gas industry would save the state budget and boost the economy,” said CCWA Director Piers Verstegen.

“WA’s LNG industry is clearly struggling, while plans for onshore gas fracking are failing to gain the support of communities across the state.

 “The Paris agreement on climate change requires fossil fuels to be phased out, so relying on growth in this sector will leave our economy exposed and our environment and communities worse-off.

“It would be far more prudent for the government to throw its support behind the renewable energy industry.

“This is an area where WA can have a real competitive advantage and which also enjoys the strong support of Western Australians.

Woodside’s announcement follows the release this week of Buru Energy’s annual report, which revealed its operating loss after tax has increased from $31.6m to 40.4m.

The company had been due to begin gas fracking at Yulleroo, 70 km from Broome, but has delayed the project by two years.

“There is significant and growing opposition to fracking across the state including in the Kimberley. 

“97% of Yarwu people, who are the traditional owners of the area Buru is targeting for fracking, have voted to oppose fracking on their land.

“This community opposition is a major factor in the delay of Buru’s fracking projects and the overall poor performance of Buru and other fracking companies. 

“These delays are costing the company time and money, and will make Buru’s fracking plans even more financially risky.

“Shareholders equity in Buru Energy has declined by $40m over the past year. 

Investors would be well advised to look elsewhere for returns, just as the government should look elsewhere for revenue and employment growth.” said Mr Verstegen.

 

Comment: Rebecca Boteler – 0424 569 179

Biodiversity Bill must not allow extinction: conservation groups

MEDIA RELEASE – 21 March 2016 

Biodiversity Bill must not allow extinction: conservation groups

 

Conservation groups have welcomed Premier Barnett’s statement that the government would accept amendments to new biodiversity legislation tabled for debate in the State Parliament this week. Without significant changes including specific provisions to prevent wildlife extinction, conservation groups say the Bill should be withdrawn.

 

The Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2015 was initially welcomed by conservation groups after being introduced into the Parliament without consultation; however independent analysis by the WA Environmental Defenders Office has since shown that the bill falls well short of contemporary practice for environmental law.

 

 CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said “WA’s unique native wildlife is under huge pressure from climate change, land clearing, logging, mining, gas fracking, feral animals and other impacts.

 

“Now is not the time for the Government to be putting forward half measures that will fail to address the decline of our unique biodiversity, or creating extraordinary new powers to allow Ministers to approve extinction.

 

“There is no provision for an independent Biodiversity Authority, no requirement for scientific advice, no targets for wildlife recovery, and no requirement for the Minster to use any of the powers in the legislation or to publicly report on the condition of wildlife.  Instead the Bill creates new powers for a Minster to play God by allowing the extinction of an entire species.

 

Like the 1950’s legislation it seeks to replace, the Bill is full of loopholes and exemptions for certain activities and classes of animals.

 

Wilderness Society Coordinator Peter Robertson said, “This Bill was drafted without consultation and contains many fundamental flaws and omissions.

 

“In its current form it is not “fit for purpose” as 21st century biodiversity conservation legislation. The lack of any statutory public involvement, including third party enforcement rights, shows this legislation is outdated before it is even law.

 

“In our view the legislation is so deeply flawed that it should not be passed unless there are major amendments.”

 

“Arresting the decline of our native wildlife demands a comprehensive package of reforms including funding, increased protected areas, major changes to the management of forest and other public lands, and contemporary legislation,” concluded Mr. Verstegen

 

The Conservation groups have written to all Members of Parliament outlining major amendments that are required for the Bill to be effective, and asking Parliament to refer the Bill to a Committee where amendments can be considered in detail.

 

Comment:

Piers Verstegen, Director CCWA – 0411 557 892

Peter Robertson, Acting Coordinator, The Wilderness Society WA – 0409 089 020

Government report denies farmers’ rights on fracking

MEDIA RELEASE – Thursday 17th March

 

Government report denies farmers rights and information on fracking

 

Conservation groups have renewed the call for gas fracking to be banned in WA following the release of a government report confirming that farmers would be denied veto rights; and critical information such as groundwater monitoring data would continue to be withheld from the community and landholders.

 

The government has released its response to the recommendations made by the Legislative Standing Committee on Environment report Implications for Western Australia of hydraulic fracturing for unconventional gas.

 

CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said: “The Standing Committee avoided examining many serious issues with fracking; however the lack of rights for landholders and the withholding of information - including groundwater monitoring data - were two areas where the Committee did raise concerns.

 

“Rather than addressing these critical issues the government response confirms that farmers will continue to be denied veto rights over fracking on their land, and critical information will continue to be kept secret while a ‘review’ is carried out.

 

“This is not good enough. The State Government has been promising transparency for years but the secrecy continues.

 

“While anti-protest laws that would prevent farmers locking their gates against gas fracking are pushed through the Parliament, simple changes required to release information continue to be put off.

 

“Thousands of farms across the Midwest and Southwest now have fracking exploration leases over them. With no veto rights, these farmers are put at the mercy of the mining companies

 

Those landholders are understandably concerned about the impact that fracking could have on their health, groundwater, communities and property values.”

 

“Many other countries have banned gas fracking in order to protect groundwater, farming and food industries.

 

“If the fracking industry were allowed to proceed in WA at the scale proposed, it would mean drilling and fracking thousands of gas wells through our groundwater aquifers and turning our farms and tourist areas into industrial gasfields.

 

“These are not things that should ever be contemplated here in WA, and are not something the public supports.

 

“Despite overwhelming evidence, the Parliamentary Report and government response perpetuates the myth that shale gas fracking can be done safely, when in fact it poses a serious threat to our environment, groundwater and tourism and farming industries.

 

 

Comment: Piers Verstegen Director CCWA – 0411 557 892

Faults exposed with Mulga Rock uranium proposal

National and state environment groups have today release an analysis of the proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine, which identifies that the project lies between three fault lines that the proponent failed to adequately disclose.

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