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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1205 asked in the Legislative Council on 22 October 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

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

Answered on

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AUTHORITY — GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS —GUIDELINES

1205. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the Minister for Environment:

It was reported today that the major resource industry leaders have again called for the Environmental Protection Authority of WA to hold off on releasing its guidelines on greenhouse gas emissions until after the government has released its new climate policy.

(1) Does the minister agree that it would be premature for the EPA to release its guidelines before the government releases its climate policy?

(2) Has the minister spoken with the EPA about the timing of the release of the guidelines; and, if so, what was discussed?

(3) Will the minister commit to reject any policy that recommends immediate net zero emissions targets for new projects?

(4) Has the EPA become a governmental arm of the Greens party, hell-bent on destroying the state's economy?

The PRESIDENT: Minister for Environment, you can answer the first three parts, but I think the member was actually seeking an opinion in the fourth part, which he knows he should not be doing. Cheeky try!

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

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

(1)–(4) The Environmental Protection Authority is an independent statutory authority, and this government fully respects that independence. The content and timing for release of the EPA's updated guidance on greenhouse gas emissions is a matter for the EPA board. I receive monthly verbal briefings from the EPA chair on a variety of environmental matters, which has included updates on consultation being undertaken for the greenhouse gas guidance. I note that the proposed time line for release of the EPA's updated guidance is outlined on its fact sheet on greenhouse gas guidance, which is available on the EPA website. I will table a copy of that fact sheet. The state's greenhouse gas emissions policy for major projects is clear that when a project is assessed by the EPA, I will consider the advice and recommendations of the EPA and the particular characteristics of the project. The government may then consider whether it is appropriate to apply a condition that sets out the requirements for a plan detailing the proponent's contribution towards achieving the government's aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050.

[See paper 3297.]