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Ward off Climate Change

About the author


Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

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Full Environmental Assessment Demanded for Substation

WESTERN Power’s proposed substation with overland towers and lines in Perth hills must be subjected to a full EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) assessment says Mr Warden, a hills’ geologist and climate change specialist.[1] 

Mr Warden said the EPA had previously informed Western Power about the level of environmental risk they would encounter should they try to build a substation with connecting lines and towers through Perth’s hills. 

“A letter from the EPA to Western Power’s predecessor SECWA in the early 1990s show the EPA warned SECWA that the proposed Hacketts Gully substation project would be subjected to a formal environmental impact assessment and public environmental review if and when they proceeded,” said Mr Warden.  

“The area of Hacketts Gully preferred by Western Power[2] as the place to build the substation is a ‘priority one’ drinking water catchment area; a high risk bush fire region; one of the world’s remaining bio-diverse regions[3] and near the highly regarded Perth Observatory.[4] 

“The clearing of land to make way for the transmission towers will also threaten the state forest by increasing the spread of dieback and accelerating the entry of invasive weeds,” said Mr Warden.  

Mr Warden said he had become aware Western Power, is possibly trying to complete the controversial project by working on smaller staged tasks[5] that may go unnoticed by the EPA.   

“It appears Western Power is attempting to avoid tougher environmental scrutiny by implementing the eastern terminal and Collie to eastern terminal power line upgrade in small incremental stages. 

“The staged project includes the construction of an up-graded Collie to eastern terminal power line, the eastern terminal substation, the Wells terminal and a double-circuited power line to Shotts terminal – to name a few[6],” said Mr Warden. 

Mr Warden said while these individual stages may appear to be minor and are likely to be overlooked by the community and government authorities, the total environmental impact of the overall project is significant and requires urgent EPA attention.Concerned residents can find out more by going to http://www.wardoffclimatechange.org.au

 



[1] EPA Letter dated XX attached.
[4] http://www.perthobservatory.wa.gov.au/ Will have unacceptable levels of interference from the Transmission Lines, causing it to have to move to another location, or just be shut down.
[5] http://www.wpcorp.com.au/documents/currentProjects/easternTerminal/infoSheetSeptember2007.pdf Information sheet describes the project’s two stages.  Talks with Western Power representatives, has revealed a total of 5 stages to the project.  These have not been disclosed on their information sheet.
[6] http://www.wpcorp.com.au/documents/currentProjects/collieEasternTermina/Invite.pdf Page 5 discribes the complete project as one.  The diagram on this page, shows an extra line running up from Collie to Eastern Terminal, that Western Power have not announced to the authorities yet.  http://www.wpcorp.com.au/documents/currentProjects/easternTerminal/LETTEREDITOR.pdf A letter by M. De Laeter from Western Power, states “The main reason a major point of connection to the metropolitan grid will be in the hills area is because new power stations are being built east of Collie.”