State Development & Industry

State Development & Industry

No future for uranium mining in WA

Friday, 2 June

WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple has called out comments by the former Minister on the future of uranium mining as misleading, because no uranium proposal in Western Australia has been approved.

“It is a fact that not one of these four projects has received all necessary approvals, contrary to what the Liberal party and the companies involved in these projects – Vimy Resources, Cameco and Toro - would have Western Australians believe,” Mr Chapple said.

“Environmental approval is not an approval to mine, or even to construct. It should be made very clear that no uranium project in Western Australia has achieved these levels of approval to construct, mine or export.

“Shadow Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L’Estrange knows full well that this is the case, and he is being deliberately misleading in calling out the government on this issue. No election promise would be broken by WA Labor because, quite simply, the context for the promise was not achieved prior to the March state election.

“Vimy Resources and Cameco believe they have pulled the wool over the eyes of Western Australians; this is not confidence, it is arrogance.

“Eight and half years of Liberal Government has not produced a single, viable uranium mine in Western Australia and the WA Greens will push hard to ensure it won’t happen under a Labor Government.”

 Media contact: Tim Oliver 0431 9696 25

Privatisation of Utah Point processing facility must be reversed: Greens

Wednesday, 15 February

The WA Greens have announced they will move to rescind the sale of Utah Point processing facility in Port Hedland after the March state election, to preserve local jobs in Port Hedland and long-term state revenue.

Longstanding MLC Robin Chapple today called on Labor to publically support this position, and on the National Party to reverse their support for privatisation in the next term of government.

“Utah Point is the only facility in Port Hedland that is not owned and utilised by either BHP, FMG or Roy Hill; it allows small miners without rail to compete and provides ongoing, indefinite revenue to the state of Western Australia,” Robin said.

“Brendon Grylls wants to introduce an illegal tax on BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto but he’s happy to let the sale of Utah Point slide, a move that directly contributes to the monopolisation of the iron ore industry in WA.

“Labor opposed the privatisation of Utah Point in Parliament and have been very vocal about stopping the sale of Western Power, so where are they on this issue now? They’re cherry-picking metro issues for votes and ignoring their regional constituents.

“The WA Greens have consistently stood up for the rights of small miners to access Port Hedland Harbour and we wholly opposed the privatisation legislation. Privatisation of Utah Point is akin to selling your house to pay off your mortgage.”

WA Greens Pilbara candidate Brent McKenna said the sale of Utah Point would ultimately mean a loss of local jobs in Port Hedland, a town that is already struggling to cope with the impacts of a largely FIFO workforce and normalisation of growth within the mining industry.

“If the Nationals priority is to protect regional jobs, as they claim, then they should have had the fortitude to stand withsmaller miners and oppose privatisation of public assets in Western Australia,” Brent said.

“When you look at the devastation caused by boom-bust cycles, exaggerated population growth projections and irresponsible infrastructure spending with no focus on what communities actually need, it’s hard to believe there’s anyone in politics really standing up for regional WA.

“The WA Greens want to see our regional communities rejuvenated, and will move to rescind the sale of Utah Point Processing Facility as soon as Parliament is returned following the March 11 poll.”

Media contact - Tim Oliver: 0431 9696 25

Nationals have turned their backs on small miners: WA Greens

Thursday, 20th October 2016

The WA Greens have criticised the Nationals after they have continued to support the Government’s position on the sale of Utah Point in Port Hedland.

“The Nationals say they are for small miners, but they have supported a bill that benefits big business and leaves small miners in the dust” WA Greens spokesperson for mining, Robin Chapple MLC said. 

“Utah Point is the only facility in Port Hedland that is not owned and utilised by either BHP, FMG or Roy Hill, and it allows small miners to compete.

“The Bill proposes the privatisation of Utah point, a move which could allow foreign investors or huge mining companies to move in and price their smaller competitors out of existence.

“The Nationals are hypocritical - they want to tax BHP and RIO Tinto, but they won't protect small miners.

“They supported recommendations from the Committee to limit the effect of privatisation, but won't support the Greens amendments which mirror those recommendations, and have the full support of small miners.

“The WA Greens have consistently stood up for the rights of small miners to access Port Hedland and we wholly oppose the privatisation, via the Pilbara Port Assets (Disposal) Bill 2015, altogether.

“However, If the sale goes ahead we believe Utah Point should only be reserved for small miners and should not be leased to the highest bidder.

“If the Nationals really wanted to protect regional jobs, as they claim, then they should have the fortitude to stand withsmaller miners and not only support our amendments, but wholly oppose the privatisation of Utah Point facility.”

Legislative council have been debating the Bill since March. 

For more information please contact Tim Oliver on 08 9486 8255 or 0431 9696 25.


ABC Northwest - Brendon Grylls' Mining tax

Both Robin and Brendon were interviewed by Joseph Dunstan on ABC Northwest on Grylls' proposed mining tax. 

World Heritage for threatened Burrup Peninsula reveals deep divisions in Government

Tuesday, 23 August

WA Greens Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC has welcomed the WA Nationals support for World Heritage Listing of the Burrup Peninsula, despite Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier stating the Government’s policy remains unchanged.

“In a speech made to Aboriginal elders, local councillors and other important members of the Pilbara community at the Cossack Art Awards last month Mr Grylls, now WA Nationals Leader, stated he was strongly supportive of seeking World Heritage listing for the Burrup Peninsula,” Mr Chapple said.

“Yet Mr Collier has confirmed in Parliament he has no intentions of seeking World Heritage Listing for the Burrup Peninsula, further highlighting the deep divisions within this government.

“Stating that ‘World Heritage Listing would not confer any additional statutory protection’ but that he was committed to helping traditional owners‘achieve cultural aspirations’, Mr Collier’s justifications were contradictory and highly culturally insensitive.

“Not only would World Heritage Listing provide the Burrup Peninsula with the recognition it deserves, internationally, as one of the most important early rock art sites in Australia but achieving this recognition and level of protection is, and has been for a long time, a significant aspiration of Traditional Owners.

“With the Yara Pilbara Technical Ammonium Nitrate Production Facility set to enter production later this year there are massive existing, and further potential, threats that must be acknowledged by this Parliament.”

Hon Robin Chapple MLC nominated the Burrup Peninsula and Dampier Archipelago for World Heritage Listing in 2003 to then Federal Environment Minister David Kemp.

A copy of the Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier’s response in Parliament on Thursday, 18 August 2016, along with some historical documents relating to the World Heritage aspirations of Traditional Owners with regards to the Burrup Peninsula are attached.

MPI report confirms what Greens have been saying for decades

Friday, 16 June

WA Greens Mining spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said comments made this week by the Australian Conservation Foundation on the potential “toxic legacy” of failing to properly rehabilitate mine sites were particularly relevant for WA.

“Western Australia already has a terrible legacy of more than 18,000 abandoned mine sites – that’s more than 35 per cent of all abandoned mines in Australia,” Mr Chapple said.

 “Mineral Policy Institute’s new report has found that most of these mine closures are unplanned and a result of economic and market forces - it’s something I’ve been talking about since first coming into office in 2001.

“Whilst the state government’s Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) has the potential to be an effective measure to deal with the issue of abandoned mine sites, this system must be in tandem with a bond system over active mine projects.

“Recently, the Victorian government announced a plan to increase the environmental bonds over high-risk La Trobe valley coal projects to 100% of estimated rehabilitation cost over the next 18 months.

“Western Australia has done the exact opposite, retiring over a $1 billion worth of bonds in favour of a one per cent levy that has accumulated just $57 million to date.

“We need a stronger bond system reinstated to accurately reflect the high risk nature of mineral extraction in today’s volatile economic climate, particularly in the fossil fuel industry, and we need to increase the MRF levy to fix the massive problem we already have

“This is not a new problem for our state, but it has been on the backburner for way too long.”

A link to the Mineral Policy Institute Report can be found below.

For comment please contact Tim Oliver on 0431 9696 25 or 9486 8255.

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