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Monday, 30 November 2009
Page: 9520

Senator EGGLESTON (5:39 PM) —I would like to endorse the remarks of Senator Cormann my colleague from Western Australia. This is very much an example of an industry which is being probably unintentionally disadvantaged by the rules of the CPRS. This company, Perdaman, has secured the required equity for the project and has commenced efforts to raise up to $2 billion in bank debt for this urea plant to go ahead. When they spoke to me, as they did to the other Western Australian senators, the Perdaman company said that the additional impost of $50 million per annum for carbon permits will make the project non-bankable and therefore it will not go ahead.

This is a major project in the south-west of Western Australia producing urea largely for export, so it will increase Australia’s export income. It will create a lot of employment in the south-west and this is the kind of industry which we want to see promoted. In Western Australia, as has been said earlier, electricity supply is very largely based on gas and, as Senator Cormann has said, there is a clear need for additional transitional assistance for investments in low emission CCS projects, especially for those projects which qualify for the emission intensive trade exposed assistance. We believe that in the case of the Perdaman project the amendments which the company has suggested be put forward would enable this development to go ahead. I ask the minister to be of assistance to this company in permitting this development to occur by agreeing to the amendment. This is a project which involves jobs and generates export income. I question why these industries have apparently been overlooked in the development of the CPRS.