The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) has expressed its concern over news that the state government has spent millions of dollars in order to help prop-up a failing, privately owned coal mine.
According to reporting by the ABC, the Western Australian Government had initially planned to spend $19.5 million in public funds on the Griffin coal mine near Collie. However, this month the premier, Roger Cook, told parliament that the total amount now allocated to Griffin would be in excess of $23 million.
The mine provides coal to South32’s alumina (bauxite mining) operations in the area as well as being used for power generation. According to the ABC, Griffin has been plagued by financial and operations problems for years and is currently saddled with debts of almost $1.5 billion. It is owned by a group of Indian banks, including India’s largest – ICICI – which itself is believed to be owed more than $1 billion.
Maggie Wood, Programs Director at CCWA, said the move by the state government was a result of under-investment and an unnecessarily slow move away from fossil fuel power generation towards renewable energy sources.
“The state government has taken important steps in recent years towards eliminating coal from our energy supply chain, but the most crucial enabler in that process – building large-scale green renewable energy sources – has yet to be realised”, she said.
“In fact, this process has been far too slow.
“Large-scale renewable energy solutions which would cut our dependence on highly polluting fossil fuels are within our reach. The government needs to show more ambition and step up its pace in this area.
“Communities like Collie stand to benefit most from a quick transition to renewable energy which would provide sustainable incomes for those currently employed in an industry experiencing dwindling demand and which is fast becoming obsolete as the world decarbonises.”
MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing nearly 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia.
For more information, visit: ccwa.org.au.
CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies
08 6558 5156 / 0412 272 570 or by email, [email protected]