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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’s Proposed Hills’ Substation Not Necessary

By Jacinta Goerke 

WESTERN Power’s proposed eastern terminal substation in Kalamunda forest is not necessary says climate change specialist and long-term hills’ resident and geologist Mr Gary Warden.

Mr Warden said recent communications with Western Power confirmed the corporation had a number of other options from which to choose.

“One option includes recommissioning an existing transmission line (the CT-MRR, Cannington to Marriot Road, near Bunbury) that already exists,” said Mr Warden.

“Another option is to upgrade the Guildford substation and build the South Eastern Terminal in Byford.[1]

“These options are more sensible because the CT-MRR line is closer to demand centres and the Guildford substation already exists,” said Mr Warden. 

Mr Warden said it is preferable for power lines to be closer to demand centres which means ‘where consumers of power live’ and our fastest population growth centres are from Bunbury to Mandurah – not Perth hills or state forest.

“However, these options all assume Perth’s growing energy needs are to be met mainly by expanding the coal-fired power industry in the south-west of this state,” said Mr Warden.[2] 

“Very little has been said about drawing electricity from the under-utilised gas-fired power plant in Wanneroo[3] nor from the proposed additional gas-fired plants to be built north of Perth[4],” said Mr Warden. 

Mr Warden said while gas-fired power stations are not currently cost competitive with coal[5], the introduction of a carbon trading scheme by the Rudd government in 2010[6] will radically increase the cost of coal thus making gas an attractive option.

Mr Warden said in light of the effects of climate change, he is shocked the government prefers to destroy and endanger high conservation forested areas by erecting transmission lines that are connected to a coal-powered generation plant. 

“Western Power and other government entities need to urgently address the impact coal-generation power plants have on global warming and should more readily promote environmentally-friendly options,” he said.

Journalist: Jacinta Goerke

Researchers: Toni Warden, Gary Warden, Jacinta Goerke