Joint Statement Regarding Concerns over the WA Climate Change Bill and Inadequate Consultation Process
The undersigned groups are concerned about the proposed WA Climate Change Bill and the lack of opportunity for adequate public consultation.
With the WA Govt set to determine its critical next steps on climate policy, we call on the WA Government to extend the consultation period, open it to the whole community, and release the draft wording of the Bill to ensure the process can be truly community-informed, fair and transparent.
We applaud the State Government for introducing important climate change legislation to contribute to national and global goals to meet our 1.5°C commitments.
This important piece of legislation shapes the emissions trajectory of the state and the whole economy as we begin to urgently decarbonise. It should bring WA into alignment with both the Federal Government and other states who have all already set emissions targets.
We are concerned that the Bill does not include a 2030 interim statewide target, unlike all other states and the Federal Government. With the interim targets remaining unlegislated, set at the discretion of the responsible Minister, and with no oversight by an independent expert climate change authority, the proposed legislation also lacks genuine accountability.
Given the importance of the Bill as a public interest matter of the highest importance, it demands an informed and transparent consultative process. We are supportive of the introduction of a Climate Change Bill and want to ensure it fits with community expectations on climate action and with global scientific consensus on emissions reductions.
However, only a restricted number of environmental groups have been invited to participate in the consultation process that has been open for only four weeks, closing tomorrow. Many community groups and members of the public are not even aware that the Bill is being consulted on.
Currently, much of the consultation process for the Bill and the associated Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategies appears to be focussed on industry and business, while the process of consultation with the public and civil society appears rushed and tokenistic. It is not clear what, if any, consultation has been had with the scientific community.
We call for greater transparency and a fuller public consultation process that would permit scrutiny and provide this Bill with the social license that is required on such an important topic.
Conservation Council of WA
Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Doctors for the Environment Australia
Perth Hills Climate Change Interest Group
The Beeliar Group of Professors for Environmental Responsibility
WA Climate Leaders
Australian Conservation Foundation
Perth Community Group
Climate Justice Union
Lock the Gate Alliance
The Wilderness Society
WA Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia
ARRCC – Australian Religious Response to Climate Change
Western Australian Council of Social Services
WA Green Urology Network
Climate Action Nurses
Nature Conservation Margaret River Region
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
WA Urban Bushland Council
Green Theatres Network Western Australia
Save Beeliar Wetlands
Cockburn Community Wildlife Corridor
West Australian Tree Canopy Advocates
Public Health Association of Australia
Sustainable Energy Now