Environment groups have welcomed Premier McGowan’s statement at an oil and gas conference that the WA Government would consider going it alone on climate policy, saying such action could deliver thousands of new jobs and huge investment opportunities, which would not be realised WA under a national approach.
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Director Piers Verstegen said the call for a ‘national approach’ from the big polluters in the LNG industry was a cynical delay tactic that is denying WA new jobs and investment, while gas pollution rises out of control.
“We are in a climate emergency - we cannot wait for the science-denying Morrison Government to act.
“We have been waiting for Canberra on climate change for the last decade, and the only thing this has delivered is more pollution and fatter profits for gas companies.
“Waiting for Canberra means WA will miss out on huge economic benefits and job creation potential, just like WA has missed out on GST revenue and Commonwealth funding.
“When we sit back and let Canberra take over, WA always misses out. We have seen it with the GST, we have seen it with infrastructure spending, and we will see it again with new green jobs and clean energy investment if we don’t take the lead.
“It is clear that the Morrison Government has no intention to take climate change seriously. Western Australians cannot let that stop us from realising the benefits of climate action in delivering a cleaner and more competitive economy, and more jobs for WA.
“Independent analysis shows that taking action to control WA’s biggest polluters in the LNG sector would deliver around 4,000 new jobs for Western Australians.
“We have the world’s best renewable energy resources, all the raw materials for WA to be a leader in the emerging battery industry, and a huge opportunity to position WA as a global investment destination in clean resource industries.
“These benefits are all on the table if we play our cards right on climate policy here in WA.
“Waiting for action from Canberra is a delay tactic that is denying WA jobs. For the last decade, this delay tactic has been pushed by WA’s biggest polluters, and the only thing this has delivered is huge increases in carbon pollution.
“Australia is the only developed economy with rising pollution, and the LNG industry here in WA have been driving that growth.
“The longer we wait for Canberra to take action, the further WA gets left behind, the more it will cost, and the fewer opportunities will flow to WA.”