The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on the Minister for Environment, Susan Ley’s rejection of NW Interconnected Power’s plans for its Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) in the Pilbara, on environmental grounds.
Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“Once again, the Federal government has demonstrated that it is unwilling to support projects that would accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. This is despite awarding the project ‘Major Project Status’ in October 2020.
“If the government is to be taken seriously on developing a hydrogen economy, companies prioritising genuinely zero emissions projects should be assisted to reach a final investment decision.
“The Federal government is all too willing to fast-track coal and gas projects, including throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at subsidies for exploration, infrastructure for new gas basins and unproven carbon capture and storage.
“This latest decision follows the Minister for Northern Australia, Keith Pitt’s decision last month to veto a $280 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to develop a wind and battery storage hub in northern Queensland.
“While the AREH proponent should address concerns raised about Ramsar wetlands and threatened species, the Minister appears to have reached this decision with little consultation with the consortium.”