South West MLC Diane Evers has welcomed a discussion paper on modernisation of environmental protection legislation released today by the Western Australian Government, describing it as a necessary measure for the state.
As The Greens (WA) spokesperson for regional development, Ms Evers said she had encountered numerous examples of state environmental protections being unsatisfactory since entering office as a member of the Legislative Council in 2017.
Ms Evers said protection of WA’s wildlife and biodiversity hotspots must be strengthened to prevent loss from human encroachment and climate change, and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) empowered to consider the systemic impacts of development projects.
According to Ms Evers, past EPA determinations were blind to other bureaucratic processes running in parallel, resulting in outcomes that did not serve a greater public interest.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:
“The scientific consensus on the impact of climate change in the South West Region is clear and requires urgent action, meaning improved environmental protection legislation is crucial.
“Unfortunately, the environment has been largely overlooked in the last few decades, as governments destroy the land it so willingly wants to distribute, killing the lifeblood that provides our resources.
“This year, the State Government re-signed the Regional Forest Agreement that states Environmental Protection Authority approval is not needed to log native forest coupes.
“Meanwhile in the Great Southern, EPA powers could not fully consider the consequences of operations at a proposed lime extraction site on the Nullaki Peninsula where, despite opposition from local government, there would likely be a negative environmental impact in a designated conservation zone.
“Near the South West coast at Yoondadadup Lake Jasper, WA’s largest freshwater lake, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety did not require EPA consultation regarding mining exploration work, despite the presence of acid sulphate soils on land excised from the surrounding D’Entrecasteaux National Park.
“These are just a selection of examples where siloed government processes leave the EPA unable to make determinations that may have a greater public and environmental benefit for Western Australians.
“Western Australians need active public participation in these matters through socially democratic deliberative processes, as well as appropriate resourcing of the EPA to ensure the need for a substantiative annual State of the Environment report is fulfilled.
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070