WA unlikely to ever go 100% renewable: Premier

Friday, October 31

WA Greens Spokesperson for energy and climate change Robin Chapple MLC has expressed disappointment over comments made by the Premier yesterday about the future of renewable energy in Western Australia.

On 720 ABC talkback radio yesterday Premier Colin Barnett claimed Western Australia would be unlikely to ever go 100% renewable and that renewable energy was incompatible with heavy industry and WA’s rail system.

Mr Chapple said whilst he was not surprised by the Premier’s attitude, the dismissive nature of his comments was alarming.

“Western Australia is going backwards under this luddite government,” he said.

“Since when did politicians become so short-sighted? We are talking about a resource that is absolutely finite.

“Climate change is not a phase, or a minor issue that has been over-hyped by alarmists or an issue that will simply pass.

“We, quite simply, are not doing anywhere near enough to reverse the damage we have already done and put in places processes and infrastructure to ensure the future energy needs of Western Australia indefinitely.

“That our own Premier, who rambles so consistently about our future economic security, is failing to see the link between that and ultimately, once the infrastructure is established, an energy network that will pay for itself is simply unfathomable.”

Mr Chapple said Australia, particularly Western Australia, was in danger of being rapidly left behind by the rest of the world.

“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, how many more flashing neon signs do we need?” he said.

“The price of coal is falling worldwide and some of our biggest trading partners, especially China, are slashing imports as well, meanwhile we are seeing a surge in renewable uptake especially in developing nations and throughout Europe.

“I’m not talking about weak, decade-by-decade targets such as the one our federal government is planning to gut – it is crucial that we establish long-term targets that legislate for a significant swing towards renewable energy and away from fossil fuel dependence.

“The Premier’s claims that his government ‘has actually put a lot of money into renewable energy’ are baseless as are his claims that we, as a state, with all of our heavy industry, are not compatible with a totally renewable energy system.”

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

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