Mining and Petroleum

Mining and Petroleum

Taxpayers cop fracking costs in Pilbara

Monday 18 June 2018

Seismic surveys in a remote area of the Pilbara announced today by the Mines and Petroleum Minister are effectively a subsidy for fracking companies, Mining and Pastoral MLC Robin Chapple says.

“Once again the Minister is undermining the moratorium on fracking in WA, this time by spending taxpayers’ money on survey work designed to help oil and gas companies,” Mr Chapple said.

“The Minister is making it look as if the McGowan Government has already made up its mind about fracking and will open up the Kimberley and possibly the Pilbara to invasive gasfields such as those we have seen in Queensland and the US.

“Governments and states across the world have banned fracking and the ALP agreed to ban fracking in the Southwest, Peel and Perth because of the risks to tourism, horticulture and amenity.

“Just because there are fewer people in the Kimberley and Pilbara, it doesn’t mean the country is ‘empty’ and can be sacrificed.

“The opposite is true: Traditional Owners are on country all the time carrying out cultural practices and getting traditional foods.

“The Labor Party promised veto rights for Traditional Owners at the election but we haven’t heard anything more: instead, we have heard a lot from the Minister about promoting and subsidising fracking companies.”

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Mining companies should pay a bond for site rehabilitation: Chapple

Tuesday, 12th June 2018

Mining and Pastoral MP Robin Chapple has today called for the reintroduction of a bond system for miners, to replace the ineffective Mining Rehabilitation Fund in the wake of concerns taxpayers could cop a $529 million clean-up bill for a Pilbara mine.

A Senate inquiry revealed that WA mining executives could provide no examples of a mine rehabilitated to ‘high quality’ despite there being 11,411 abandoned mine sites and 192,523 mining ‘features’ across WA as of 2014.

Mr Chapple said that with the potential for Citic Pacific to abandon the Cape Preston mine it is clear that the Mining Rehabilitation Fund was not working, and that a stricter bond system would be more effective for ensuring mining companies pay to rehabilitate the areas they damage.

“We need to change the legislation here in WA to reintroduce the bond system, to make sure mining companies ae not able to trash the joint and then disappear into the sunset when business goes South.

“If you are renting a house and cause clear damage, in most cases you have to sacrifice your bond. Why shouldn’t this be the case for mining companies?

“Responsible mining has its place, we do need these minerals, but we need to make mining companies clean up after themselves.

“The Mining Rehabilitation Fund has a cap of $500,000 in liability estimates, and these are self-assessed by the company in most cases rather than the Department. We should make miners cover the full cost of rehabilitation and we need the Department to be the ones assessing it, not the company itself.

“WA has nearly 200,000 abandoned mining features including shafts, at best they’re eyesores, at worst they are dangerous. You only have to look at Wittenoom to see that in action.

“Let’s stop mining companies from being able to chuck a runner and make sure we’re looking after the land.”

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Yeelirrie ruling a hollow victory for uranium industry: Greens WA

Wednesday, 8 February 2018

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for Nuclear Issues Robin Chapple has labelled the Supreme Court ruling on the proposed Yeelirrie Uranium mine a hollow victory for the uranium industry. 

“Despite the Supreme Court dismissing CCWA’s appeal against the original ministerial endorsement for Yeelirrie, this is not the final roadblock for Yeelirrie and other Uranium mines," Mr Chapple said. 

“In fact this decision is only a hollow victory, the uranium industry is on its last legs with bloating costs and increasing competition from renewable alternatives. 

“It is incredibly disappointing to see the law rule in favour of an economically untenable, environmentally unsound and highly dangerous project.

“After campaigning against further uranium projects during last year’s election the state government have been alarmingly quiet, they need to develop a stronger position

“Even when the Supreme Court agreed with the EPA that Yeelirrie will cause extinction and fail to meet the objectives of the Environmental Protection Act, they made this decision.

“I tip my hat to CCWA and the traditional owners who initiated this appeal and have fought tirelessly against the risky and ruinous mineral that is Uranium.

 “Believe me when I say the fight against Uranium in Western Australia is far from over."

Media contact:

Liam Carter – 0449 151 490


Taxpayer subsidies for mining industry must be reformed: Greens WA

Monday, 5th February 2018

A recent report by the Australian Conservation Foundation showing the Australian government will spend less than half on environment and biodiversity programs than mining companies receive in fuel tax credits shows how critical it is that miners pay their fair share, said Greens WA Mining spokesperson Robin Chapple.

The ACF analysis shows that this financial year the mining sector will receive $2.5 billion in fuel tax credits, dwarfing the total federal environment investment.

“What is clear is that there is not only an obscene amount of money being spent to prop up the coal mining industry in particular, but there is also a critical underfunding of environmental initiatives across the nation,” Mr Chapple said.

“When the coal industry alone may receive more in subsidies than the entire federal environment department, you know that the priorities of the government are warped, short-sighted and ultimately dangerous.

“While environment budgets are facing deep cuts, the current laws allow for the excise on fuel to be claimed back against company tax, effectively subsiding an industry that has little need for assistance.

“It is a disastrous position for the federal government to shake down environmental protection with one hand while simultaneously giving taxpayer dollars to some of the world’s largest miners.”

Mr Chapple’s comments come as the Minerals Council of Australia pushes for reduced company tax rates, arguing that miners already pay enough tax.

“The Minerals Council of Australia has once again shown that it will cynically put company super profits ahead of the need for Australia to be able to fund critical environmental protection programs that benefit our regional areas.”

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Minerals Council misleading the public: Greens WA

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

The Minerals Council of Australia’s attempt to portray mining tax rates as too high is misleading and subversive, says Greens WA mining spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC.

A report commissioned by the MCA has claimed that miners pay an effective rate of 51%, however the report includes royalty expenses rather than just taxable income.

“The Minerals Council recently admitted to a Senate inquiry that they donate to both Labor and Liberal parties to gain access to politicians, and it is unsurprising that they are now waging a campaign to increase their members’ profits at the expense of the Australian public,” Mr Chapple said.

“Royalties are what help to fund the infrastructure and services that directly benefit the people of WA. It is absolutely crucial that mining companies pay their fair share.

“It is a sad state of affairs when mining lobbyists can freely admit that they pay for access to major party MPs with no consequences and only weeks later seek to decrease tax and royalty rates for mining companies.”

Mr Chapple said that mid-tier miners are paying their fair share and it is about time that large mining corporations do the same.

“According to The Australia Institute, taxpayers paid $4.5 billion in subsidies and concessions to the mining industry across Australia. The Minerals Council’s call to reduce the company tax rate is insulting to WA and insulting to taxpayers.”

Media contact:
Liam Carter - 0449 151 490

The Greens (WA) are hopeful DMP will reopen mining registrar offices

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The Greens (WA) are hopeful that the threatened closures of eight regional mining registrar offices will be temporary.

Robin Chapple said he hoped the Department of Mines recognised the importance these offices have within the regions, not just for miners and prospectors but for the entire community who use the offices to register births, deaths and marriages.

“The ALP government need to stand by their word and recognise the importance of a high standard of service delivery in attracting people to our regions to improve and maintain a high standard of service delivery in regional communities,” Mr Chapple stated.

“It is not good enough that the Norseman office is closed because the government can’t attract workers to the regions or the Coolgardie office is closed because the government doesn’t have the funds to restore a building.

 “Strong, vibrant local shires and regional communities are integral to the sustainable development of our State, and the mining industry is significant to the economic stability of the entire State of WA.

“I call upon the McGowan government to ensure all of the regional offices are opened as soon as possible and are well supported to service the communities’ needs. It is just not good enough that Norseman residents will only be provided the service twice a month and have to travel to Kalgoorlie to do so.

“These offices are not just important for the mining sector but are a functioning part of regional communities,” he added. 

Environment Minister must protect Helena Aurora Range from Mining: Greens

Friday, 24 November 2017

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for the Environment, Robin Chapple MLC welcomed today the Environment Minister’s decision to dismiss the industries appeals against the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) assessment on a proposal to mine iron ore in the Helena-Aurora Range.

“It is encouraging that the Minister for Environment found the EPA's assessment to be rigorous and comprehensive, and to mine for iron ore deposits within the Helena-Aurora Range as environmentally unacceptable, Mr Chapple said.

In 2014, the EPA recognised the Greater Western Woodlands as a biodiversity hotspot and a sanctuary for a number of species found nowhere else on earth – but this advice was ignored by the former government.

It is time for the Environment Minister to protect this incredible feature of our environment and to give the Helena Aurora Range Class A, National Park status. ”


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