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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 222 asked in the Legislative Council on 20 March 2019 by Hon Tim Clifford

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

Answered on

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AUTHORITY — GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS —CONSULTATION

222. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the Minister for Environment:

After pressure from the government and media, the Environmental Protection Authority withdrew its greenhouse gas guidelines last week. Tom Hatton, chairman of the EPA, has stated that additional consultations will be conducted to clarify the interpretation of the guidelines with industry. I would like to understand what commitment the government has toward climate change and toward supporting the EPA to reinstate these regulations.

(1) Will the government provide additional resources to the EPA services to ensure that the consultations can be fast-tracked; and, if yes, please describe these extra resources; and, if not, why not?

(2) How many staff work exclusively for EPA services and which of these staff will be made available to work on amending and finalising the greenhouse gas guidelines?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. I strongly disagree with his premise that the government pressured the EPA. The EPA is an independent statutory authority that makes recommendations to government.

(1) The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation provides resources to support the Environmental Protection Authority. The department will reprioritise resourcing to assist the Environmental Protection Authority with the consultation of the greenhouse gas guidance as appropriate.

(2) Currently, 43 Department of Water and Environmental Regulation staff provide dedicated services to the Environmental Protection Authority, of which three will be working closely with the Environmental Protection Authority to finalise the greenhouse gas guidelines. Other staff within the department will be providing technical and policy assistance, as required.