The McGowan Government has called for Federal action on critical national environmental issues at today’s meeting of Environment Ministers with the Commonwealth.
Key issues raised by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson included better management of waste, coastal erosion, and transparency about the Federal Government’s emissions targets.
The meeting also discussed Murujuga, with the McGowan Government welcoming an important step forward in the nomination process of Murujuga for World Heritage listing.
As stated by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“Advances on a waste ban, including a sensible approach to ensure that no unintended outcomes arise, were welcomed.
“The targets in the National Waste Policy and proposed COAG ban will only succeed if significant new Commonwealth funding is invested in local reprocessing and manufacturing.
“Given the Prime Minister’s keen interests in progressing a highly ambitious timeframe, this will only be achievable with significant investment by the Federal Government to rapidly develop local reprocessing infrastructure and the markets to buy recycled products to ensure the economics stack up.
“Under no circumstances does WA want action that increases stockpiling or waste going to landfill. Based on today’s robust discussions, I am confident we have a way forward, provided the Commonwealth puts money on the table.
“The Federal Government has the levers to support rapid change, such as the Product Stewardship Act.
“However significant Commonwealth investment is required to rapidly develop infrastructure and the markets to buy recycled products to ensure the economics stack up.
“We strongly support investment in processing to achieve WA’s target of 75 per cent material recovery of waste across the State by 2030.
“WA faces particular challenges based on its distance from markets and heavy reliance on exports. We need to make sure national funding is delivered to where it is most needed.
“I welcome agreement to progress digital environmental impact assessment. Ensuring WA and the country has efficient and effective environmental regulation systems is vital to protect our environment for future generations and providing certainty to industry.
“Climate change, which was also a hot topic at the meeting, is an important issue for WA.
“WA is supportive of the Federal Government’s target of reducing emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030. But I have called on the Commonwealth to provide us with reassurances that Australia is on track to meet this target.
“Importantly, today, WA has called on the Federal Government to ensure they are at the table on discussions relating to the impacts of climate change such as coastal erosion and inundation.
“Managing coastal erosion is not an issue unique to WA. Coastal erosion threats to public and private assets are being experienced across Australia by governments, property owners and businesses.
“While State, Territory and local governments have important responsibilities in responding and adapting to the immediate impacts and future threats of coastal erosion, national leadership is needed on this issue.
“I am pleased the meeting agreed that this issue requires a co-ordinated approach.
“The Murujuga World Heritage nomination is one step closer, with a Tentative List Submission receiving endorsement at today’s meeting.
“The McGowan Government continues to work in partnership with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation to progress our election commitment to seek World Heritage status for this important area of WA.
“It is important the value of the site is being recognised nationally and internationally.”
Minister’s office – 6552 5800