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Statement on Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s reported remarks to AEP conference in Perth

Jess Beckerling, the Executive Director of the Conservation Council of WA, made the following statement about reported remarks by federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton at the Australian Energy Producers conference in Perth today:

“It comes as no surprise to West Australians that Peter Dutton would seek to deliver the WA gas industry this fossil fuel fantasy. Slashing protections for WA’s precious nature to enable rampant fossil fuel expansion is not what WA wants. Mr Dutton’s threat to the places WA loves comes while our forests are dying in drought and vulnerable marine species are endangered by record heat. 

“WA should stand as a cautionary tale about the dangers of gas industry expansion – not just to the rest of Australia, but to the planet. Mr Dutton’s pitch to the big end of town will be met with outrage by millions of people who know that we must phase out fossil fuels and move to renewables as quickly as possible.  

“Additional powers for the WA state government to fast-track industrial approvals will only worsen WA’s nature and climate emergency. The WA government presides over the only state with rising carbon emissions estimated at almost 20% above 2005 levels - and no target to reduce them by 2030. The WA government must legislate an ambitious 2030 emissions reduction target to keep warming to under 1.5 degrees before anyone will trust them with further approval power. 

“Mr Dutton’s plans to remove the federal government’s environmental protection powers are ridiculous. We have international obligations to protect matters of national environmental significance and internationally listed ecosystems, and the federal government is the only jurisdiction that can meet that responsibility. Environmental protections need strengthening, especially now, and Mr Dutton is showing himself to be hopelessly out of touch.” 


To arrange further interviews or comment, or for any enquiries relating to this media release, please contact 0412 272 570 or by email on [email protected]

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

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