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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1222 asked in the Legislative Council on 23 October 2019 by Hon Tim Clifford

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

CLIMATE EMERGENCY DECLARATION — FEDERAL LABOR POLICY

1222. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the Leader of the House representing the Premier:

I refer to the response given to question without notice 1137 asked on 15 October.

(1) Will the Premier please explain to the house how declaring a climate emergency will destroy Western Australia's economy and cause mass unemployment?

(2) Can the Premier please table the information and analysis to support this claim?

(3) What is the state government doing, beyond increasing liquefied natural gas exports, to address global climate change, and can the information supporting how these actions are addressing global climate change be tabled?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

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

(1) The premise of the member's question is incorrect. The Premier stated in his answer to question without notice 1137 that a policy of net zero emissions by 2020 would destroy Western Australia's economy and lead to mass unemployment.

(2) Not applicable.

(3) The McGowan government is very active in addressing climate change. There are important reforms underway in the energy sector, through the energy transformation strategy and electricity network reform, to support cleaner generation. The McGowan government has also provided in-principle support for carbon farming. This recognises the multiple benefits of carbon sequestration, economic diversification and restoration of degraded rangelands. The renewable hydrogen strategy, which was launched earlier this year, focuses on the potential for renewable hydrogen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the mining industry, domestic gas networks and transport industry. It also looks at our potential to export world-class solar and wind resources to other countries. The future battery industry strategy is helping to position Western Australia to become a central player in the global battery value chain. The Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre is being hosted in Western Australia and will further support our state's clean-industry goals. The government is also encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles in WA through the Electric Vehicles Working Group.

The government has also made significant commitments around Metronet, supporting a more sustainable framework for growth in Perth, and set ambitious targets for waste reduction, with the goal that 75 per cent of waste generated in Western Australia will be re-used or recycled by 2030. In addition, we have created a climate change unit in the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and have committed to developing a state climate policy by early 2020; developed a state greenhouse gas emissions policy for major projects; managed to secure additional funding for the Environmental Protection Authority; launched EPA inquiries into the state's largest greenhouse gas–emitting projects; joined the national Climate Action Roundtable; and signed up to a national electric vehicle strategy.