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WA Government trash environmental protections in search of industrialisation

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 19 Aug 2013

The Australian Greens today called for WA Premier Colin Barnett to finally abandon attempts to industrialise James Price Point in the Kimberley after the Supreme Court's decision to uphold an appeal against the environmental approvals of the now-abandoned LNG processing hub.

"This decision shows that the WA Government has trashed our environmental decision making process to drive their industrial agenda," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Clearly there were deep flaws in the EPA and WA Government's processes when it came to assessing James Price Point for development.

"The WA Government signed off on the EPA's report, but three of their assessments have now been found to be unlawful and invalid, with EPA chairman Paul Vogel being the lone decision maker in the process.

"This is yet another example of the WA Government, under Colin Barnett, failing to follow due and proper process when it comes to James Price Point, in the rush to open the Kimberley up to a future of industrialisation.

"This decision also reiterates the importance of the Federal Government retaining environmental approval powers, rather than farming responsibility out to state governments. As we have seen in WA and QLD, too often these powers would be used to press ahead with polluting and damaging development.

"Colin Barnett needs to accept that the Kimberley is not an appropriate location for industrialisation. The Greens' vision of the Kimberley's future is one of responsible and sustainable industry that protects the area's unique environment, culture and heritage.

"I congratulate Mr Hunter and the Wilderness Society for pursuing this legal action, clearly the environmental assessment process was flawed as many pointed out at the time," concluded Senator Siewert.

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