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WA Government can't be trusted on environmental approvals

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 21 Oct 2013

The Australian Greens said today the WA Government can't be trusted to have the only and final say on environmental assessments in WA.

"The WA Government has been the major driver of industrial development in WA, how can they then be left to have sole responsibility for assessing that development?," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Kimberley spokesperson said today.

"We are calling on the WA Government to be upfront about any plans to sign up to Tony Abbott's flawed one-stop-shop for environmental approvals.

"Queensland has reached a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Government that sees the process for environmental approvals handed to the state, removing the Federal Environment Minister's need to provide an important double-check for new development.

"Colin Barnett and the WA Government's handling of proposed developments like James Price Point shows why the existing system is so important.

"There is no clearer example of this than their acceptance of the EPA's report on the proposed JPP development, despite knowing that the findings were made by just one person. Rightly, three of the report's determinations were later overturned by the WA Supreme Court.

"The Premier is continuing to drive industrialisation of the Kimberley and will put development and industrialisation ahead of crucial protections for the environment, culture and heritage of WA."

WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple said today that people of WA deserved to know if Mr Barnett was considering a radical change to environmental approvals.

"We don't want to wake up one morning and find out that WA's environmental protection lies solely in the hands of Colin Barnett and his Government," said Mr Chapple.

"Big business will be the big winners out of this change, while people and precious places around WA will suffer.

"Current environmental laws provide an important double check, and these must be protected," Mr Chapple concluded.

 

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