Kimberley

Greens back moves to protect the Fitzroy

The Greens (WA) have reiterated their longstanding opposition to damming the Kimberley's Fitzroy River and backed calls to fix existing barriers to threatened sawfish migrating up the river.

"The Fitzroy, which drains a vast area of the Kimberley, is considered the most important nursery for critically endangered freshwater sawfish, which migrate up to 400 km inland as young," Greens Mining and Pastoral MLC Robin Chapple said.

"Apparently this means little to pastoralist Gina Rineheart, who reportedly told an American Chamber of Commerce dinner recently that 99 per cent of the river's water is 'wasted'.

"The Greens have staunchly opposed moves to dam the Fitzroy for the past 15 years and we welcome the McGowan Government’s resistance to moves to dam it for large-scale irrigation this time.

"We also support calls by scientists to for fishways to be built on Camballin Barrage and urgent implementation of a catchment management plan for the Fitzroy in collaboration with Traditional Owners.

"To say that the Fitzroy's water is 'wasted' when it goes out to sea reveals a low level of knowledge about the region.

"Any alteration to freshwater outfall has a corollary effect downstream – for example, on fish stocks and small fry prawn populations in King Sound." 

Community housing waiting list must be addressed: Greens WA

Monday, 15 January 2018

The length of waiting lists to access community housing in Kalgoorlie-Boulder should be a cause for concern for the McGowan Government according to Greens WA Member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple.

Mr Chapple said that recent comments by Liberal member Kyran O’Donnell, who described community housing tenants as ‘welfare families,’ are damaging and ill-informed.

“Housing is a basic human right and everyone should have access to appropriate, safe, secure and affordable dwellings,” he said.

“The fact that families doing it tough are being left in poor conditions or even without a roof over their heads is tragic and the Member for Kalgoorlie’s role should be about finding solutions rather than stoking tensions and laying blame.

“For Mr O’Donnell to say that harsher penalties and putting families onto the streets will solve the housing crisis is far from helpful.”

Mr Chapple called on the government to investigate options to find suitable accommodation for people currently on the waiting list for housing in WA.

“What the public deserves is a government that will approach housing in the same way that we approach healthcare and education – as a human right.

“With over 150 applicants on the community housing waiting list in Kalgoorlie-Boulder alone, the government must address the demand for shelter as a matter of urgency.

“This is a systemic issue and one that is reflected across regional WA by unacceptable wait times, which in some parts of the state such as West Kimberley far exceed two years on average.”

Kimberley’s beauty will be lost forever if Rangeland reform not prioritised: Greens

Thursday 11 October

The WA Greens have called on the state Government to heed advice on the governance and ecological sustainability of our state’s pastoral lands, after the findings of an audit tabled to Parliament yesterday revealed decades of policy failure.

Environment and Lands spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said it was clear in the report released by the Auditor General that the Pastoral Lands Board (PLB) was no longer able to fulfil its environmental responsibilities, leading to a serious decline in rangeland condition across WA’s iconic outback.

“The PLB is reliant on Limited Lease Monitoring to assess rangeland condition, which has declined from a frankly unacceptably low 15 per cent of all leases assessed in 2009 to now less than 3 per cent,” Mr Chapple said.

“We’re seeing significant decline in rangeland health over the last 50 years or more and whilst the Auditor General has identified some avenues for rectifying the issue, the Greens believe much broader reform is needed to solve this outback crisis.

“In the Kimberley, the government has identified that many pastoral leases are experiencing declining rangeland conditions and acknowledged there is no obligation for ecologically sustainable practices under the current management.

“In questions to Parliament last month the Minister identified 17 pastoral stations at-risk in the region across all rangeland conditions with no management plan to address these declines.

“Many of these pastoral stations include at-risk populations of Bilbies, sensitive wetland areas and other fragile ecosystems that have been in significant decline for decades with limited progress towards halting this decline.

“A serious change in policy is critical if we are to preserve our precious Kimberley for future generations and tourism aspirations, and I call on the new Labor Government to prioritise rangeland reform.”

Kimberley Pastoral Leases identified as being in serious decline:

-          Alice Downs

-          Bedford Downs

-          Billiluna

-          Bulka

-          Christmas Creek

-          Koongie Park

-          Lake' Gregory

-          Lansdowne

-          Lissadell

-          Moola Bulla

-          Mt Arnhurst

-          Mt House

-          Nerrima

-          Rosewood

-          Springvale

-          Texas Downs/Mabel Downs

-          Yeeda

 

The Question on rangeland condition asked by Hon Robin Chapple MLC on 12 September, 2017 is attached.

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