Nick Evans: WA Lithium Faces Green Blocks

It is amazing what can be achieved when political ideologues get out of the way and let industry do what it does best, particularly in WA.

The emergence of WA’s lithium sector has delivered thousands of new jobs and promises to realise the long-held dream of adding some value to the minerals extracted from our soil.

But the political chaos in Canberra, and Labor’s promise to introduce new environmental regulations if it wins government, risks disrupting the growth of the sector at a critical time.

Only five years ago, WA’s lithium mines employed less than 400 people.

The latest figures from the Department of Mines show that has jumped more than 750 per cent, to more than 3300, as new mines fill booming demand for the commodity from battery plants in Asia, Europe and beyond.

Those figures don’t include the hundreds of administrative jobs at the miners, or those of the exploration companies not yet close to production.