Guidelines risk stalling the economy

It was a reckless decision by Western Australia’s Environment Protection Authority to release their carbon emissions guidelines yesterday, particularly when economic figures are already sluggish, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said today.      

“We call on the WA Government to reject the guidelines and undertake a proper and extensive consultation process with industry.

“Any implementation of the guidelines has the potential to stall an already struggling economy in Western Australia. We all want to reduce carbon emissions but the last thing we need is sudden and ill-conceived policy that will deliver impossible hurdles.

“Meeting our international commitments under the Paris Agreement should be done as part of a national framework and not state-based and ad hoc regulations, which will only drive up costs and deter much-needed investment.

“The guidelines need thorough and extensive consultation or they could put the state’s economy at greater risk. The EPA’s decision will have a real impact on companies today and serve as another blow to investment confidence.

“Governments and employers need to work together for better carbon efficiency in the economy but not at the expense of living standards.

“Ad hoc regulation risks harming the competitiveness of Australian businesses, forcing them to compete with one hand tied behind their backs.

“Employers are ready to invest in new jobs and higher wages but they can only deliver on that potential if Australia gets the settings right.”