State Government still fiddling while climate changes

April 8, 2004 - The five Greens (WA) MLCs today condemned the Gallop Government for failing to clearly support the Federal Labor Party in its commitment to signing the Kyoto Protocol.

During Private Member's Time in the Legislative Council this afternoon, the Greens called on the Gallop Government to support the position of Mark Latham in committing to sign the Protocol, in the hope that the Premier would dispense with the illusion that WA is somehow a ‘special case' which has something to lose if the agreement is signed.

In a depressingly familiar display of short-sightedness, the Premier's spokesperson in the Legislative Council, Kim Chance MLC, offered no such commitment. He instead repeated the State Government's ambivalent position that Western Australia should be allowed to plough on with lavish support for electricity-intensive heavy industry.

The Draft WA Greenhouse Strategy states:

“...the increase in Western Australia's greenhouse gas emissions during the first Kyoto Protocol accounting period is projected to be about 39 per cent above the 1990 baseline year figure... A large number of energy intensive industries have been developed during the past decade, and many more are proposed...”

“Instead of shifting the State's industrial base to progressively more energy-efficient production, the Government is deliberately pursuing a 19 th Century industry policy,” commented Jim Scott MLC, who led the debate in Parliament. “This will become an increasing liability as our trading partners adapt to the realities of climate change and strengthening international co-operation on the issue.”

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