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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 3444 asked in the Legislative Assembly on 17 February 2015 by Mr C.J. Tallentire

Question Directed to the: Minister for Environment
Minister responding: Hon A.P. Jacob
Parliament: 39 Session: 1

(1) Further to media reports (“Reprieve for big polluters”, the West Australian, January 2, 2015) can the Minister explain why greenhouse gas conditions remain on Chevron’s Gorgon project but the Government has waived them on Chevron’s Wheatstone project?
(2) How many projects in Western Australia have greenhouse gas conditions and what projects are they?
(3) Does the Minister intend to remove greenhouse gas conditions on other projects in Western Australia?
(4) If no, why has Chevron received a special exemption?
(5) Has the Minister met with Chevron since becoming Minister and on what occasions?
(6) Who was present at each meeting?
(7) Were greenhouse issues, or the conditions that apply to the Wheatstone project, discussed at any of those meetings?
(8) What is the likely contribution of the Wheatstone project to Western Australia’s total emissions profile (percentage and tonnes)?
(9) Can the Minister explain the State Government's role, if any, in how these emissions will be addressed by the Federal Government’s ‘Direct Action’ program?
(10) Has the Minister sought advice from his Department as to how the ‘Direct Action’ program will apply to or mitigate Chevron’s Wheatstone emissions and if not, why not?

Answered on 17 March 2015

(1) Most greenhouse gas conditions were removed from Chevron's Wheatstone project because the company requested that the conditions be removed in light of a complementarity clause in the conditions. This complementarity clause provided for the Minister for Environment to determine that the greenhouse gas conditions would no longer apply if it was found they were non-complementary to any Commonwealth legislation which regulated greenhouse gas emissions.

(2) Thirty nine projects have greenhouse gas conditions set under part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

- Coal-Fired Base Load Power Station, Collie

- Pinjar Gas Turbine Power Station

- Cawse Nickel Project

- Yakabindie Nickel Project

- Murrin Murrin Nickel-Cobalt Project

- Rare Earths Mining and Beneficiation, Mount Weld

- Wagoo Hills Vanadium Project and Mingenew Coal Project

- North West Shelf Gas Project

- Hope Downs Iron Ore Mine

- Technical Ammonia Plant, Burrup

- Telfer Gold Project

- Commercial Hismelt Plant, Kwinana

- Ammonia-Urea Plant, Burrup

- Pinjarra Cogeneration Project

- Ravensthorpe Nickel Project

- Iron Ore Mine Downstream Processing Direct-Reduced Hot-Briquetted Iron and Port Construction, Cape Preston

- Kemerton Power Station

- Pinjarra Alumina Refinery

- Perth Metropolitan Desalination Proposal

- Bluewaters Power Station Stages I and II

- Gas-Fired Co-Generation Facility, Worsley

- Kwinana Gas-Fired Power Station

- Pilbara Iron Ore Infrastructure Project: East-West Railway Mine Sites Stage B

- Argyle Diamond Mine, Underground Project

- Worsley Alumina Refinery

- Wagerup Cogeneration Project

- Pluto Liquified Natural Gas Development

- 330 MW gas-fired power station, Wanneroo

- Southern Seawater Desalination Project

- Devil Creek Gas Development Project

- Gorgon Gas Project

- Silicon Mine Project, Kemerton

- Balmoral South Iron Ore Project

- Bluewaters Power Station Stages III and IV

- Coolimba Power Station Project

- Collie Urea Project

- Macedon Gas Development

- Wheatstone Gas Development

- Ammonium Nitrate Plant, Kwinana

(3) No. However, I will consider any request made by a proponent to amend or remove greenhouse gas conditions. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, I cannot change a condition of approval without first receiving the advice of the Environmental Protection Authority.

(4) See the answer to question (1).

(5) I have met with Chevron Pty Ltd on 23 July 2013 and 5 March 2014.

(6) 23 July 2013

- Hon Mike Nahan MLA (Treasurer; Minister for Energy; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests)

- Ms Tamatha Smith (Chief of Staff, Office of the Minister for Environment; Heritage)

- Mr Simon Helm (Chief of Staff, Office of the Treasurer; Minister for Energy; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests)

- Mr Jim Sharp (Director General, Department of Parks and Wildlife)

- Mr Ash Raj (Policy Adviser, Office of the Treasurer; Minister for Energy; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests)

- Mr Colin Beckett (Greater Gorgon Development General Manager, Chevron Pty Ltd)

- Russell Lagdon (Senior Environmental Consultant, Chevron Pty Ltd)

- Amy Ruddock (Government Affairs Adviser, Chevron Pty Ltd)

5 March 2014 

- Ms Tamatha Smith (Chief of Staff, Office of the Minister for Environment; Heritage)

- Ms Belinda Walker (Policy Adviser, Office of the Minister for Environment; Heritage)

- Dr Roy Green (Quarantine Expert Panel Chair, Gorgon Project)

- Mr Stuart Fields (Construction and Dredging Environmental Expert Panel Chair, Gorgon Project)

- Mr Simon Woodley (Marine Turtle Expert Panel, Gorgon Project)

(7) Yes

(8) At full development of 25 million tonnes per annum production of LNG, GHG emissions from the Wheatstone Project are projected to be around 10Mt CO2-e per year. As part of national greenhouse gas emissions accounts, Western Australia's emissions were estimated to be 70.5Mt of CO2-e in 2011-12. Therefore emissions from the Wheatstone Project would constitute approximately 14 percent of total State emission's in 2011-12.

(9) The Federal Government's Direct Action Plan is largely given effect through the Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Act 2014 (Cth) which was assented to on 25 November 2014. This Act establishes the crediting and purchasing elements of the Emissions Reduction Fund, and introduces a framework for the development of a safeguard mechanism which will be introduced from 1 July 2016. As this is Commonwealth legislation, the State Government has no role in its application or operation.

(10) See the answer to question (9).