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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1234 asked in the Legislative Council on 27 November 2018 by Hon Tim Clifford

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

Answered on

CLIMATE CHANGE — POLICY

1234. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the Minister for Environment:

I refer to the minister's response to question without notice 1208 in which he stated that ''the McGowan government takes climate change seriously''.

(1) Why does Western Australia not have a renewable energy target?

(2) Why does Western Australia not have a net zero emissions target?

(3) Why does Western Australia not have a minister for climate change?

(4) Why has Western Australia not committed to a statewide ban on fracking?

(5) Why does Western Australia not have a climate change policy?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

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

(1)–(2) With respect to renewable energy targets and emissions, as I have previously responded, the McGowan government considers that national approaches to mitigation are generally more economically efficient. We will continue to work through the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council to seek a national approach to reducing emissions from the electricity sector. The Minister for Energy has confirmed the range of measures being progressed by the McGowan government to support renewable energy and reduce emissions, including moving to a ''constrained'' access framework and modernising the wholesale electricity market to improve network access for renewable generators.

�(3) As the Minister for Environment, I have responsibility for coordinating the government's response to climate change, and acknowledge the role of my ministerial colleagues in addressing the issue.

(4) Today, the McGowan Labor government has prohibited hydraulic fracture stimulation throughout WA except where existing petroleum titles currently allow for it to occur. This equates to a ban on fracking across 98 per cent of the state. The independent scientific inquiry into fracking spent 12 months considering all the available evidence and concluded that the risk to people and the environment is low and can be reduced even further if its recommendations are adopted. As a responsible government, we need to respect what the inquiry has found. To impose a blanket ban on fracking on existing petroleum titles when the evidence shows the risks can be managed would undermine Western Australia's reputation as a safe place to invest and do business.

(5) 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.