AUTHORITY — GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS — BRIEFING NOTES
677. Hon Dr STEVE THOMAS to the Leader of the House
representing the Premier:
I refer to the Environmental
Protection Authority's proposal to apply its own guidelines to projects
that would require the EPA to recommend 100 per cent offsets for greenhouse gas
emissions on projects that are expected to emit more than 100 000 tonnes of
scope 1 carbon dioxide–equivalent greenhouse gases per annum, and
tabled paper 2783, tabled by the Minister for Environment on 13 June 2019.
(1) Was the
Premier or any of his ministerial staff or any person in the Department of the
Premier and Cabinet or the department of state development given a copy of
briefing note DWERME572/19, or the indicative offsets costs attachment, prior
to the EPA announcement of the guidelines policy on 7 March 2019?
(2) If yes to (1), on what date?
(3) Was the
Premier or any person in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet or the
department of state development given this information after the 7 March
announcement by the EPA?
(4) If yes to (3), on what date?
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question and remind him that the Environmental Protection
Authority's greenhouse gas guidelines have been withdrawn. I also
remind the honourable member that the EPA is an independent statutory authority
and that this independence is important and something this government respects
fully. The government does not direct the EPA. As the member will know, the
primary role of the EPA is to provide advice to government on the environmental
impacts of significant projects. Ultimately, the government is the
decision-maker and gives final consideration to the benefits of a project.
The briefing note by the Department
of Water and Environmental Regulation, to which this question refers, related
to a draft version of the EPA's greenhouse gas guidance. I understand
that the EPA's position on greenhouse gas guidance changed considerably over the months prior to its release and
that details contained within the draft EPA greenhouse gas guidance were
not finalised until the date of their release on 7 March 2019. My office was
not provided with the finalised guidance until less than one hour before it was
government will continue to consult cooperatively with stakeholders on measures
to reduce emissions. We are fully committed to supporting jobs and
growth in Western Australia, while responsibly protecting the environment for
(2) It was on 27 February 2019.
(3) Not applicable. The information
was provided prior to the announcement.
(4) Not applicable.