Hot topics for this State Election

The Western Australian State Election will be held on Saturday 11 March. Here, ‘Revive’ shares some
of our hot topics for the Uniting Church WA at this election.

Keep an eye out for election resources from the Social Justice Unit of the Uniting Church WA. For more
info call Geoff on 9260 9800 or email geoffrey.bice@wa.uca.org.au

 1. Climate change and renewable energy

The Uniting Church WA believes that God’s creation, the Earth itself and all the life it supports, is precious
and that the Earth’s resources exist for the good of all. It is calling for strong action to tackle greenhouse gas
pollution in WA, by moving towards renewable energy, improving transport and urban design, food security
and a process to help workers move away from coal and other destructive industries. The Uniting Church
WA is a recent signatory to the Renew WA Climate Consensus Statement. Follow them on Facebook to find
out more at ‘renewWA.’

The destruction of bushland for the Roe 8 project has been a big concern for the Uniting Church WA and the
Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, which not only is harming the Beeliar wetlands and the
wildlife it supports, but is destroying land which has been sacred to WA’s Indigenous people for thousands
of years. Revive has previously reported on this issue, and to find out more visit www.rethinkthelink.com.au.

2. Fracking

‘Fracking’ is a process of pumping fluid at high pressure into rock formations underground to help release
gas which is trapped in the rocks. It is a big issue for WA, as there are gas deposits all over the state,
including in the Kimberley, the South West and the Mid-West, with exploration licences also covering parts
of the Gascoyne region and inland from the Ningaloo coast.

Concerns surrounding fracking include health, water safety and availability, greenhouse gas emissions and
damage to the environment. Ask your candidates this election if they will support a legal framework that
enables landholders and traditional owners to refuse access to their land for gas exploration or production.

3. Uranium mining

The Uniting Church WA recognises there are complex issues surrounding uranium mining, but is calling
on individuals, churches, industry and government to work together to end involvement in the nuclear fuel
cycle. The current State Government has recently given approval to several mines, including the Yeerlirrie
proposal, despite it being rejected by the Environmental Protection Authority. Concerns are held about the
possibility of the uranium mined in WA contributing to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. There are also
potential health hazards in transporting radioactive material, and the process uses a large amount of water
– a precious resource in WA. Ask your candidates what will happen to the nuclear waste that began as
uranium in WA deposits.

4. Social Reinvestment

Through its involvement with Social Reinvestment WA, the Uniting Church WA has called for changes
to WA’s criminal justice system. A popular mantra around election time for both major parties is that WA
needs to be ‘tough on crime’ and that this will somehow keep our communities safer. The Uniting Church
WA, however, calls for a smarter, more holistic and preventative approach including an end to mandatory
sentencing, addressing prison overcrowding and reforms to the processing of women, people with
disabilities, mental illness and drug related problems who enter the criminal justice system. Read Revive’s
feature article here, or visit www.socialreinvestmentwa.org.au for more information.

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