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  • The Legislative Assembly meets on 04/12/2020 (02:00 PM)
    Assembly sit 04/12/2020

Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1208 asked in the Legislative Council on 22 November 2018 by Hon Tim Clifford

Minister responding: Hon S.N. Dawson
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

CLIMATE CHANGE — POLICY

1208. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the Minister for Environment:

I refer to numerous questions that I have asked in this place about the McGowan government's failure to implement a climate change strategy for WA, in response to which the minister has assured me that the government has commenced developing a climate change policy and has undertaken a stocktake of all climate change policies, projects and programs across government.

(1) Can the minister please explain the purpose of the stocktake in light of the Minister for Energy's recent announcement in The West Australian that the government has no intention of introducing a state climate change policy?

(2) Assuming the minister was speaking in good faith in stating that the government had commenced developing a climate change policy, what has changed?

(3) Given that the federal government has so abjectly failed to implement a stable climate and energy policy, why does the government consider that a national approach to climate change is the most efficient and effective way to meet carbon emissions reduction targets and deliver on Australia's international commitments?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1)–(3) As I have previously stated in this house, the McGowan government takes climate change seriously, and is committed to playing a positive role by developing effective policy in this area and fostering renewable energy. Work continues across government towards tackling the issue of climate change. I table the comments made in full by the Minister for Energy and ask that they be incorporated into Hansard.

Leave granted. [See paper 2224.]

The following material was incorporated —

The comments the Hon. Ben Wyatt MLA, Minister for Energy, provided to the West Australian are as follows:

''The Federal Government's decision to walk away from the National Energy Guarantee has certainly meant that until the next Federal Election we are unlikely to see a comprehensive national policy that deals with energy emissions.

''However, I remain hopeful that once we have a new Federal Government, of either stripe, we will see them embrace a national approach to an emissions reduction strategy. The McGowan Government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with Australia's international commitments, and supports a national approach as the most efficient and effective way to deliver on these commitments.

''This is why the [sic] we continue to work through the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council to seek a national approach to reducing emissions from the electricity sector.

''It should be noted that as it stands the national Renewable Energy Target requirement will remain in place at the same level between 2020 and 2030.

''However, despite the inertia on a Federal level, we are not merely sitting idly by waiting for direction.

''The McGowan Government is undertaking several important reform initiatives to enable greater renewable energy participation on the South West Interconnected System. These reforms include:

         a 'constrained' access framework for the Western Power network, which will allow new renewable generation projects to be connected to the network without incurring expensive network augmentation costs; and

         reforms to modernise our Wholesale Electricity Market to enable all capable technologies to provide capacity, energy and ancillary services in the future, including storage, to enable the lowest cost electricity supply mix as we transition to a system with greater levels of renewable generation.

''In short, we are continuing to work on our own reforms while still remaining hopeful that after the next Federal election we will see whoever is in the Lodge put energy emissions policy back on the national agenda.''