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Greens take strong stand on Cockburn Cement Law
Greens WA MP Lynn MacLaren says Cockburn Cement has been let off the hook by the Coalition Government and the Labor Opposition.
The Cement Works (Cockburn Cement Limited) Agreement Amendment Bill 2010 now in the State’s Upper House was passed through the Lower House with little serious discussion. The Greens MLCs are now placing much-needed scrutiny on the legislation and once again highlighting their opposition to State Agreement Acts.
“The Government attempted to rush this through parliament – moving it up the agenda late one night during the private member’s euthanasia bill debate, and trying to bring it on for only a very short debate.”
“During the negotiations of the Agreement Act, the Government had an opportunity to get Cockburn Cement to clean up its act and blew it. So, what we are presented with is basically a rubber stamp for ‘business as usual’ for a company that is on the nose for its environmental record.”
Labor supported renewing Cockburn Cement Works Agreement Act after only a cursory examination,” said Ms MacLaren.
Ms MacLaren said the company’s environmental record, including alarming smokestack emissions as well as the true scale of the destruction caused to seagrass in Cockburn Sound, had been virtually ignored by the Coalition and the Labor Party.
“Cockburn Cement has not proven it is a responsible corporate citizen and is essentially being rewarded for failure,” she said.
The Cockburn Sound Management Council, the Environment Department and the EPA have come under fire from WA Auditor-General Colin Murphy for failing to properly protect the Sound’s marine environment.
Ms MacLaren said the Greens MLCs would do all they could in the Upper House to scrutinise the new Agreement which gives Cockburn Cement rights to mine the sea bed further west in Owen Anchorage with the aim of holding Cockburn Cement accountable.