Skip navigation

"Demands more scrutiny”: Peak body calls for inquiry amid reports of record emissions and Chevron-Burrup Hub conflict

The Conservation Council of WA has called for the WA Climate Change Bill to be referred to a Parliamentary committee for a full inquiry following a leaked government report into the legislation, which shows WA’s emissions are set to rise to record levels with carbon capture and storage technology unable to offset the projected increase. 

It comes amid reports of a potential conflict of interest in the appointment of former Chevron employee, Simon McKirdy, to the Appeals Committee for Australia’s biggest climate decision, the North West Shelf Project Extension, the largest part of Woodside’s Burrup Hub mega-project.  

The WA Climate Change Bill will determine how WA responds to the climate crisis at a critical time for emissions reductions, as the only state without a legislated 2030 emissions reduction target. 

A leaked government report yesterday revealed a record increase in WA’s projected greenhouse gas emission this year, to almost 20% above the 2005 baseline level, which the report reveals to be inconsistent with a 2050 net zero target that is included in the legislation set to be reintroduced to WA Parliament within weeks. 

WA remains the only state in Australia without a 2030 emissions reduction target, while recent figures from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water reveal that WA annual emissions increased 12% in the last reporting period. WA is currently on track for its hottest, driest May ever following record heatwaves already this year. 

“Western Australia is still experiencing its hottest and driest summer ever, causing forest collapse across the South West and reports of turtle and penguin deaths in Perth,” said Jess Beckerling, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of WA. 

 “The WA Climate Bill presents a crucial opportunity for the state to take a leading role in mitigating the climate crisis. However, the current version of the bill falls short of what is necessary to effectively tackle climate change and doesn't meet the expectations of the WA public. It is imperative that a bill this significant is referred to committee for a full inquiry. 

“Carbon capture is a fantasy technology that does not work and cannot be relied on as part of any serious strategy to reduce emissions. Chevron’s carbon capture and storage has failed at Gorgon, which will produce three billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions with less than 3% of emissions successfully sequestered so far. The only thing that carbon capture and storage has achieved is to extend the life of the fossil fuel industry.” 

Chevron is an equal one-sixth foundation participant in the North West Shelf Project at Woodside’s Burrup Hub, with Simon McKirdy appointed last month by WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby to a two-person committee considering appeals to extend the project . Professor McKirdy worked for Chevron from 2013 to 2016 and currently works for Murdoch University’s Harry Butler Institute, which was reportedly co-founded by Chevron. 

“The North West Shelf project is seeking to extend Woodside’s Burrup Hub until 2070, which would condemn the world to an additional 6 billion tonnes of carbon emissions and represent the biggest new fossil fuel project in the southern hemisphere,” said Martin Pritchard, Campaigns Director at Environs Kimberley. “The disastrous nature of this project has already drawn a record setting 776 appeals against it by the WA public.” 

“This appointment doesn’t pass the pub test. We have seen with Woodside’s previous James Price Point proposal how the mishandling of conflicts of interest on the EPA’s Board can derail a project entirely and make the approval unlawful and invalid through a court case."

“It’s critical that a decision that would have globally significant carbon pollution, as well as potentially drive demand for fracking in our pristine Kimberley region, is free from any perception of bias.” 


MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost nonprofit, non-government conservation organisation representing nearly 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia.

For more information, visit:


For any enquiries relating to this release please contact 0412 272 570 or by email on [email protected]

Continue Reading

Read More