The South West Hub is a “pipedream” and should be scrapped, according to Murray-Wellington MLA Murray Cowper.
Mr Cowper said the Federal Government proposal to pump industrial carbon from Collie and Kwinana into the Lesueur aquifer near Harvey was “not viable and too disruptive to existing industry”.
The hub is a government industry partnership led by the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum and partnered by Alcoa Australia, Griffin Energy, Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers, Verve and Premier Coal.
It is WA’s first on-shore carbon capture and storage trial project and aims to combat climate change by capturing and storing carbon in the Lesueur formation, just north of Kemerton Industrial Park, to reduce emissions.
Mr Cowper said he had written to Federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson’s office calling on him to shut the $46 million project down.
“With the viability of the project already under serious challenge, there are also serious questions about the reliance of the project on unproven science and the fact it is already threatening major disruption on one of our most valuable farming areas, ” Mr Cowper said.
He said the project must be suspended before Federal and State government agencies proceeded with plans to conduct seismic testing over 115sq km of land in the Harvey and Waroona shires.
“This is a WA extension of the failed Federal carbon tax which seeks to make this highly productive area a ‘test bunny’ for the climate change scientists, ” he said.
The hub was awarded $52 million in 2011 for its development.The South Western Times contacted Minister Ferguson’s office for comment but did not receive a reply.