Karratha algae scrapped

Scrapped Algae Project Highlights Pilbara’s Problems

Tuesday 27th August 2013

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam and Robin Chapple MLC, Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region and Greens WA spokesperson on Climate Change and Energy, today called on the government to fix up the mess it has made of Pilbara development.

Senator Ludlam said “The Barnett/Grylls Liberal/National government has sat back while the mining boom has taken its course, basking in the reflected glow of success, while contributing little in the way of policy development for a sustainable future.

“It’s been very easy for them to look good, as record levels of mining investment deliver windfall returns, none of which is a result of this government’s actions.

“On the contrary, the government’s failure to actively engage in steering the policy direction has led to the conditions which now confront the proponents of worthwhile renewable energy projects such as the Karratha algae plant.

“Federally, the Greens secured $13 billion for renewable energy precisely so that promising projects like this get the help they need. Instead of turning its back, the Barnett Government should take another look,” said Senator Ludlam.

Mr Chapple continued, “Mr Grylls in particular has to shoulder much of the blame, as his party’s cynically motivated regional development pork-barrelling has led to such a gutting of the state’s finances that this month’s state budget has us hurtling down the slippery-slope into unprecedented levels of debt.

“If we are to see genuine regional development the government must stop supporting the FIFO culture to the exclusion of all other possibilities - Local councils are buckling under the weight of providing services for huge transient populations which are not contributing to the rates base.

“The government needs to urgently fix the imbalance in property prices brought on by their tilting of the playing field in favour of here today/gone tomorrow resource developers.

“Landcorp has been using the area as a cash cow, with disastrous consequences for the long-term locals.

“Only restoring the balance for locals will ensure that we have a true pathway to sustainable Pilbara Cities”, concluded Mr Chapple.

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