The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) wishes to express its thanks to outgoing premier Mark McGowan on his achievements for the environment during his tenure as Premier.
Mr McGowan was also Environment Minister in 2005.
In particular, Mr McGowan's decision to ban native forest logging in the state was an historic move that will be looked back on by future generations as a key policy that helped protect our forests and the species which depend on them.
Logging ban the 'defining moment of premiership'
Joe Heffernan, Executive Director of CCWA said "the McGowan government's decision to ban native forest logging was a defining moment of his premiership."
"Our native forests are biodiversity hotspots home to crucial habitat for many endangered species - and also act as a natural carbon sink which will help in our readiness in dealing with climate change."
"This decision proved what environmental groups have known for decades - our forests are worth more standing than sold for low-value woodchips."
New parks, reserves
The McGowan government is also credited with the creation of several new nature reserves, marine parks and national parks under the Plan for our Parks - including the recent Matuwa Kurrara Kurrara National Park and the Lake Carnegie Nature Reserve. These have been positive steps toward protecting greater amounts of our state at a time when biodiversity is under greater pressure than ever before.
Container deposit scheme
WA's Container Deposit Scheme is also an initiative of the McGowan government. The Containers for Change scheme in WA has diverted over 1.67 billion containers from landfill in the last two years.
Opportunity for positive change
Despite these positive steps, CCWA notes the frustration that has been felt by many environmental groups - including its members - at the missed opportunities to safeguard our environment during the McGowan premiership.
In particular, the McGowan government's close proximity to major polluters such as Woodside has come at the expense of developing meaningful relationships with environment, conservation and climate groups.
Mr Heffernan said "we hope the next incumbent will be a lot more open and allow greater access to higher levels of government for groups like CCWA and its members, who have real concerns about the coming decades."
"Time is running out for nature and for our climate in WA. We cannot allow for many more years to pass where the environment is placed at the back of the queue, while companies which pollute and destroy our natural places are given priority."
"Industry (particularly oil and gas) has historically been given a disproportionate amount of influence and favour at the expense of our environment. We'd love to see that change with the incoming Premier."
CCWA congratulates the outgoing Premier on his achievements and looks forward to welcoming and working with the new Premier and interim leader.
In particular, CCWA looks forward to seeing nature and climate at the top of the new leader of the state government's agenda.
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]