WA Liberal Leader, Dr David Honey, has called on the Premier to clarify how he believes Federal Labor’s 43% mandated reduction in Australia’s carbon emissions can be met without negative impact to the WA economy.
The target, which will be a legislated minimum, must be achieved in the next eight years and it could have a dramatic impact on WA’s mining and agricultural sectors, which Dr Honey says could lead to significantly harm for WA’s economy.
“As people know I’ve supported reductions in our emissions at the State level and believe that a target like this is achievable over a reasonable time, but only with detailed planning and industry engagement.
“Government is only directly responsible for a small portion of Australia’s carbon emissions. The 43% reduction target can only be achieved if our industrial and agriculture sectors also make major carbon emission reductions. I have had some indications that certain industries believe that they will be exempt from the mandate. I don’t see how the target can be achieved if this is the case. That simply means that other industries will need to reduce emissions by much more that 43%.
“The rate of the proposed transition needs to be scrutinised to determine what is practically and
financially achievable. We have not seen any detail from the Federal or WA Governments to
show the feasibility of achieving their target. It is not sufficient to simply mandate a target in the
absence of these assessments. Wishful thinking will not achieve the desired goal – there will
need to be massive capital investments and parallel massive capital write-downs. We need to
see this detail before the legislation is passed by Federal Parliament so that people are making
an informed decision.
”The Premier needs to explain if he supports the mandated target and, if so, how he thinks this
can be achieved without severely harming WA’s economy – our mining and manufacturing
industries will be the most affected by this target.
“A mandated minimum target will ultimately include penalties for non-compliance. Some people
may be comforted that any penalties may be some time away. However, once they are
legislated, they will be politically difficult to remove. Penalties for non-compliance will have a
direct impact on the profitability of businesses and may threaten their global competitiveness.
“The Premier can’t sit this one out. However, as leader of our State and the man who greatly
assisted Mr Albanese to get elected, if this policy is implemented and harms WA, it’s on him,”
said Dr Honey.