WA Greens have called for the Mungari industrial estate to host the biggest solar power station in the southern hemisphere despite the opposition of the Department of State Development.
Robin Chapple, MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region, said the solar power project proposed by Investec Bank Australia would bring great benefits to the people of Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie.
"Mungari estate has been moribund for years. In addition to the proposed Kalgoorlie Solar Power Station, Datacenter Limited is pursuing a data centre for the estate 25kms east of Kalgoorlie. According to the Member for Kalgoorlie Mr John Bowler - who supports the proposals - these projects have been rejected on the grounds they don't fit the Department's pedantic definition of heavy industry. This would be a big opportunity lost," said Mr Chapple.
Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, the Greens national spokesperson for sustainable cities, said the huge renewable energy potential of the Goldfields must be harnessed.
"The idea that the technical definition of the Mungari estate as ‘heavy industrial' rather than ‘industrial' could stop Kalgoorlie realising its massive potential as a solar city is ridiculous, but unfortunately this will transpire unless the State Government rejects the Department's recommendation and LandCorp approves the plans."
"Both of these projects will diversify the local economy and create jobs, and the solar plant would make Kalgoorlie and Western Australia a world leader in renewable energy," said Senator Ludlam.