MEDIA RELEASE 30 July 2009
Faragher undermines the EPA… again: Greens
The Greens have accused Environment Minister Donna Faragher of continuing an emerging pattern of undermining her own lead environment agency after late yesterday’s announcement of final environmental approval for the massively expanded Gorgon gas proposal for WA’s fragile Barrow Island.
“The Minister has taken advantage of this long winter break to clear through some of the most contentious environmental appeals in her in tray, but unfortunately that burst of productivity has come at the expense of the credibility of our Environmental Protection Authority,” said Greens MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple.
“Mines Minister Norman Moore’s penchant for attacking WA’s environmental approvals system is well-known, and it now seems his ministerial protégé is getting in on the act as well.”
“This sends an ominous signal to anyone in WA who thought we still had a meaningful, independent source of science-based environmental approvals advice.”
Mr Chapple noted that just five days before this Gorgon decision the Minister overrode the EPA by allowing mining in the area surrounding the unique and vulnerable Mungada Ridge, in the Blue Hills Range about 200 km east of Geraldton.
“We are concerned of course that this de facto sidelining of the environment in decision-making on key WA projects will eventually lead to Parliament being presented with a Bill that formally guts the EPA.”
“It will be interesting to see whether the Minister will do anything in this portfolio other than to make her area of responsibility the subject of weaker and weaker protections,” Mr Chapple concluded.
posted by tony serve in support of Robin Chapple & Greens (WA)