State Development & Industry

State Development & Industry

Damage to rock art on Burrup ignored by Labor in favour of industry: Greens MP

Thursday, 16th August 2018

Greens MP Robin Chapple has labelled claims by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson that industry and ancient Aboriginal rock art can coexist on the Burrup Peninsula as ridiculous.

Despite dramatically changing PH levels visibly damaging the Aboriginal heritage rock art, the Labor Government continues to blindly insist that increased industrial presence on the Burrup is not having an impact.

“What the Minister’s comments show is that this Labor Government will always put their ties with big business over environmental and heritage concerns,” Greens MP Robin Chapple said.

“The very fact that the Maitland Industrial Estate is gazetted and ready to host industry appears to have been lost on this government, who continue to blindly insist that this rock art is not being damaged despite evidence showing otherwise.

“We can have industry, we can have the benefits that it creates, but there is no good reason for this Government to continue on in the face of reason when there is a perfectly suitable, gazetted industrial estate with environmental approvals on the mainland ready for development.

“Make no mistake: The Greens support World Heritage Listing for the Burrup Peninsula, and the Labor Party’s actions are a roadblock to achieving this important goal.

“Minister Dawson needs to come to the table and show that he wants to help achieve World Heritage Listing for the Burrup. Saying you support it is one thing, but when you are supporting heavy industry that is visibly damaging this incredible heritage, the Government loses credibility in this space.

“This Government has dodged Freedom of Information requests, dodged questions, and is trying to dodge responsibility for their actions – well we won’t let them get away with it.

“These claims that industry can coexist with rock art on the Burrup don’t stack up.”

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Government tries to dodge Freedom of Information over Burrup development

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Greens Mining and Pastoral MP Robin Chapple will challenge the outcome of a Freedom of Information application to the WA Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Information after receiving nine all but completely blanked out pages.

“I have seen large redactions in FoI responses before but this is next-level. This was a routine FoI request, yet the Government is going to unprecedented lengths to keep the details of industrialisation in the North a secret,” Mr Chapple said.

“My original request sought all correspondence between the Department and the proponents of Coogee Methanol Plant and Perdaman Karratha Urea Plant, which was a standard FoI request in terms of scope.

“In May, the Department told me the request would result in too many documents, so I agreed at their urging to amend my application to just the ‘record of any discussion’ between the companies and the Department. 

“The result: nine pages of meeting minutes with all the minutes blanked out – just leaving two meeting dates in May and November 2017 and a list of government agencies who attended along with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

“I will appeal this outcome and reinstate the terms of my original FoI request. This experience does make me wonder if the Department has something to hide.”

Mr Chapple made the FoI application after a briefing note by the Department to the Premier dated April 2018 was leaked. The document purported to warn that timing of World Heritage listing for the Burrup was ‘critical’ as there would be a reluctance for new industries to locate to the Peninsula once the listing had gone ahead.

  • Photo of Robin Chapple with the blank pages attached.

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490



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