South West MLC Diane Evers has accused the McGowan Government of leaving a Great Southern community high and dry on consultation, after Water Minister Dave Kelly delayed plans to visit the region and discuss the September announcement of a major climate change relief project.
Minister Kelly had announced Water Corporation plans to build a pipeline stretching more than 60 kilometres between Denmark and Albany to improve climate change-affected water supply in a move that was reportedly a surprise to the Denmark council and community.
After a request by the Shire of Denmark to Minister Kelly asking to visit the Shire and explain why the project was announced without local government consultation, a planned visit has been rescheduled to end of January — nearly five months after the project was announced.
Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for water, said moves to shore up water supply in the area were necessary but that the Government’s level of engagement, both with the Denmark community and the issue of climate change, was severely lacking.
The move comes at a time when numerous water deficiencies have been declared by the WA Government, most recently in the Shire of Lake Grace on Wednesday, December 4.
Ms Evers said the poor consultation and broader inaction on climate change was a symptom of a State Government unwilling to take the necessary steps to tackle the climate crisis and protect the livelihoods of regional Western Australians.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:
“Minister Kelly’s September media release made it sound like the Denmark community should be delighted to be receiving a ‘subsidy’ for their water supply — despite the Government failing to mention that the subsidy is funded by Royalties for Regions.
“This sleight-of-hand trick to cover the country water subsidy with Royalties for Regions allocations is nothing less than a cruel joke, one I will not let go unnoticed.
“To add insult to injury, the Minister has now delayed his expected visit to Denmark to late January, nearly five months since the September announcement.
“Not only has the Government made a decision to paper over the immediate impacts of climate change by funding a pipeline without community consultation, they didn’t even have the sense to discuss the project with the Shire of Denmark Council.
“Nor has the Albany Council been consulted, as taking water from the Albany aquifer will put more pressure on its community too.
“The McGowan Government quietly acknowledges the scientifically proven impacts of climate change, yet does nothing to significantly address its causes nor reduce emissions.
“Instead, climate change is treated in the political arena change as an abstract villain, as if humans have nothing to do with its creation.
“Why doesn’t this government pull its head out of the sand and do something to cut emissions instead, instead of opposing Net Zero Emissions targets proposed by the WA Greens that were backed by over 50 WA scientists?
“Instead, the Government’s recent issues paper on climate change shows just how obstinate they are in being effective.
“This is just another example of this Government’s disregard for people and the environmental catastrophe of climate change — and on top of the government’s inaction on emissions limits, it is a recipe for disaster.
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070