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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.

Western Power Set to Damage Hills Forest

By Jacinta Goerke

WESTERN Australia’s remaining bio-diverse region is set to be damaged should Western Power push through their proposed eastern terminal substation with interconnecting power lines and towers through Perth hills.

Long-term hills’ resident, geologist and climate change specialist Mr Gary Warden this week said Western Power must be aware their project is likely to contribute to the destruction of one of the world’s five remaining rich environmentally significant areas. 

“The majority of hills’ residents have no idea they are living in and near one of the earth’s few remaining bio-diverse hot spots,” said Mr Warden.

“The forest of Perth hills and south-west of this state contain thousands of species that are unique to the area,” said Mr Warden. 

Mr Warden said government-funded research shows only seven per cent of the south west remains forested and this unique landscape is now under threat.[1]

“Satellite pictures undeniably show there has already been massive clearing of native vegetation across significant parts of the south west eco-region,” said Mr Warden. 

“Western Power has indicated that in addition to the 20 hectares of land[2] to be cleared for the terminal substation, the entire project would include new power lines requiring up to 14 new cleared corridors measuring 40 to 60 metres in width and destroying up to six hectares of forest per kilometre of corridor.

“This would see a forested area the size of Kings Park being cleared,” said Mr Warden. 

Mr Warden said Western Power has revealed that the main purpose of the eastern terminal substation is to bring electricity generated from coal-fired power stations being built east of Collie to Perth.[3]

Mr Warden said it is inconceivable that in the face of climate change we are building more coal-fired power stations and destroying hundreds of hectares of forest. 

“It is no wonder Western Australia’s dependence on coal-fired power is the reason we have the highest per capita emissions of greenhouse gases[4] on the planet, said Mr Warden.  

Mr Warden said Western Australians should oppose Western Power’s push to construct a highly contentious corridor of power lines through one of the world’s rarest bio-diverse environments. 

He said concerned residents can demonstrate their opposition to coal-fired power by contacting Synergy and switching to ‘Natural Power’.[5]

“The more people switch to natural power the less need there is to expand coal-fired power stations.”

Journalist: Jacinta Goerke
Researchers: Toni Warden, Gary Warden