CCWA Media Release – 13 November 2015
Western Australia’s peak environment group has welcomed the announcement of a Taskforce to plan a transition for Collie away from its reliance on coal industries.
Conservation Council of WA Director Piers Verstegen said “Environment groups have been calling for a transition plan for Collie for a long time and it is pleasing to see the State Government and Collie Council now embracing this. [see previous media release here]
“The economic and environmental reality is that we need to phase out coal industries as soon as possible, however these changes need to be planned carefully so that towns like Collie have a strong economic future in other industries.
“Reducing Collie’s reliance on coal industries will result in better health, cleaner air and a healthier environment.
“We are hopeful that the Taskforce will lead to a genuine bi-partisan commitment to a managed transition for Collie away from its reliance on coal industries.
“With the state’s energy networks focused around Collie it has the potential to continue being an energy hub as part of a renewable energy economy.
“A transition Strategy backed by resources from the State Government would enable new sustainable industries to be developed and allow the community and local workforce to transition away from coal without major disruption.
“The days of coal as an economic driver, job provider and energy supplier are rapidly coming to an end.
“Plans for a new coal export industry are clearly unviable both environmentally and economically.
“Here in WA our electricity supplies are also experiencing a rapid transformation. For every new solar panel that is installed, the demand for polluting coal-fired energy decreases every day.
“Collie has a lot going for it, but these opportunities need to be developed and invested in through a planning process that engages the community in a genuine plan for the future.”
Comment: Piers Verstegen – 0411 557 892