The Cook Labor Government has opted for an uncharacteristically low-key launch of its consultation process for proposed climate change legislation.
Shadow Minister for Environment Neil Thomson said the release of the consultation documents online without any associated media fanfare had an air of stealth.
“The Cook Labor Government appears to be embarrassed about its inability to seriously address climate change while maintaining a strong economy in a State that relies on its mining and energy resources and remains the only state where emissions are increasing year on year,” he said.
“This is a Government that is ideologically driven but completely out of ideas and expertise on how to achieve those ideals.
“The Government needs to act quickly to ensure the stability of our electricity network and to provide ongoing support for our natural gas sector.
“Gas remains an important transition fuel if the world is to reduce unnecessary carbon emissions.”
Mr Thomson said both industry and consumers needed clarity and certainty around the rules governing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so projects could be assessed within a framework that was consistent with community expectations and encouraged investment in new technologies.
“Minister for Climate Action Reece Whitby is pinning his hopes on annual reporting, which is yet to be initiated, to ensure accountability and transparency on the state’s net emissions and progress against the emission reduction targets,” Mr Thomson said.
“I have no confidence in the reporting processes of what has been the most secretive government in the history of the State.
“The Government could be publishing data and details now rather than wait for another bill to go through Parliament and looking at supporting new energy opportunities for which Western Australia has a natural advantage.”
Mr Thomson said a Liberal-led Government would bring industry together to ensure the innovative approaches for energy generation were accelerated in the resources sector and did everything in its power to protect those critical export industries which are vital to global efforts in carbon reduction are protected from a rapacious and unrealistic Federal Labor Government.