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Influence of gas industry on our universities, state government a blocker for climate action in WA

The Australian Greens have slammed a partnership between the University of Western Australia (UWA), and gas giants Chevron and Woodside - worth $600,000 per year - to expand WA's gas industry as inconsistent with the urgent need to respond to the climate crisis.

Senator for WA Jordon Steele-John said the partnership to "improve tiebacks" - connections between new oil and gas fields and existing production facilities - facilitated the expansion of a polluting industry right at the very moment we should be investing in ways to phase it out.

"It is entirely inconsistent with the reality of the climate crisis for UWA to engage in a research project to expand our state's gas industry at the behest of corporations who will directly profit from that research!

"Both Chevron and Woodside must be thrilled that WA's oldest tertiary institution has committed to undertaking the bulk of research and development they need to remain profitable into the future, right at a time when we urgently need to begin transitioning away from polluting fossil fuels.

"Whether it's through donations to the UWA or donations to the WA Labor Party, it's clear that Woodside and Chevron are the ones who are really pulling the strings of government in WA."

The Greens (WA) climate spokesperson Tim Clifford MLC said Premier Mark McGowan's support for the oil and gas industry was frighteningly transparent.  

"Earlier this year Premier Mark McGowan rejected a proposal by the Environmental Protection Authority that would have required new and expanding LNG projects to be carbon neutral, even though emissions from the gas industry in WA have more than tripled since 2005.

"Now the Premier is praising the University of Western Australia for doing the dirty work of his corporate mates in the gas industry instead of taking the action the community demands on the climate crisis!"

"Only the Greens are willing to take on the corporate gas merchants and demand a just transition for Western Australia away from gas, creating a better future for all of us."

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