State Development & Industry

State Development & Industry

Greens: Western Power sale clearly being pursued

Tuesday, 26 April

A tender to advertise the state government’s planned electricity market review shows privatisation of Western Power is clearly being pursued, according to Greens MLC Robin Chapple.

“Treasurer Mike Nahan needs to own up and admit the government is entertaining the idea of selling Western Power so that robust debate on the issue can occur,” Mr Chapple said.

“Instead, Minister Nahan is denying a sale whilst simultaneously investigating the ramifications - backdoor politics from a government acutely aware of just how unpopular its asset sale program has become.

“Record state debt is pushing this government to make rash decisions; privatisation of Western Power would not only be fiscally short-sighted but ultimately an administrative and regulatory disaster for WA.

“Historically, no West Australian government has proven they have the expertise necessary to manage privatisation on this scale; if you’ll just think back to the sale of the Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline.

“More recently, the Public Utilities Office has fumbled the privatisation of Horizon’s grid assets in the Pilbara demonstrating they do not have the capacity to manage a sale of this nature.

“There are already significant loop holes in the market that exist for Western Power and as a government entity, the ERA has relied heavily on their good behaviour not to exploit them.

“We are currently in a regulatory transition process and I would be wary of handing over to a commercial interest likely to want to take advantage of existing loop holes.

“That aside, rapidly increasing solar uptake means the value of this asset if sold outright is going to be significantly less than the $15 billion figure being thrown around.

“It is absolutely disingenuous to continue using that figure to justify the sale of Western Power to the people of Western Australia; these are desperate tactics from a cash-strapped government with delusions of grandeur.”

For comment please contact media liaison Tim Oliver on 08 9486 8255 or 0431 9696 25.

Fracking experiences are truth, not scare tactics

Thursday, 21 April

WA Greens spokesperson on Mining and Petroleum Robin Chapple MLC said he supported farmers and communities across WA “100 per cent” in their opposition to fracking.

“The WA Greens always have been and always will be opposed to the practice of hydraulic fracturing for gas, anywhere and at any time,” Mr Chapple said.

“A moratorium as proposed by the Labor Party is only a delay, or a temporary suspension of fracking in Western Australia; I ask the Labor party ‘a delay until what?’ If anyone were to look at their public record, much like the incumbent government, the Labor party have a strong history of supporting unconventional gas in Western Australia.

“I went to an incredible, thought-provoking presentation last night by a man from Wyoming, USA; a rancher by the name of John Fenton who has been living, not by choice, in the midst of an unconventional gas field.

“He detailed the challenges his family have faced trying to continue farming with unwanted gas fracking operations on their property including sickness, widespread water contamination and diminished rights to do anything except plead for measly compensation.

“If Western Australia goes down this path then the concerns of farmers in the Mid-west and South-West and pastoralists in the Canning Basin in the Kimberley, will be vindicated.

“We absolutely cannot let this destructive industry flourish in our state, particularly in our most fertile food-growing areas and fragile ecosystems.

“Rather than dismiss the lived experiences of people like John Fenton as ‘scare tactics’ I would urge this government to have some humanity and accept the overwhelming evidence about this industry and the horror that comes with it.”

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

Major parties both support Burrup development

24 March, 2016

WA Greens Mines and Petroleum spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said he was disappointed by comments from Opposition Leader Mark McGowan that suggested Labor supported onshore LNG processing near Karratha.

“Mr McGowan last week suggested Woodside’s Browse LNG project could have been underway years ago with an onshore processing plant near Karratha, originally earmarked for the Burrup Peninsula,” Mr Chapple said.

“It is extremely disappointing to learn that both major parties continue to support the desecration of some of Australia’s, arguably the world’s, most significant Aboriginal rock carvings.

“We have already lost so much of the Burrup to industry – as much as 11% or over 10,000 carvings – surely what remains is worth protecting to the highest possible standard; a World Heritage Listing.

“To the best of my knowledge, Woodside has investigated potentially piping gas to the Burrup on a number of occasions previously and found it to be fiscally untenable. 

“The WA Greens do not support any new development on the Burrup Peninsula whatsoever; the long-term benefits of protecting this site far outweigh any others, particularly from a dying fossil fuel industry.”

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

Greens MLC welcomes Land Administration reforms

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, welcomes the Government’s Land Administration Act reforms but says the devil is in the details.

“I believe it is a good thing we are looking at the constraints of the Land Administration Act, but I will remain wary of the details” Mr Chapple said. 

“As it stands, pastoralists can only use their land for stock related purposes. We have always advocated for them to have the ability to diversify and the reforms propose this.”

“However we need to govern to ensure that this diversification has a net positive effect on the land condition.”

“The act should ensure potential new tourism ventures on pastoral lands operate in an environmentally friendly way and comply with the Native Title Act.” 

“It should also be outlined who has the responsibility with dealing with feral animal infestations, we are continuing to have problems with feral goats degrading many areas in my Region.”

“I will be reviewing the reforms to ensure they are fair and extensive.”


For comment please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263.



Proposed electricity reform lacks vision

Energy Minister Mike Nahan has once again proven his incompetence by yesterday announcing a ‘reform program’ for electricity generation in Western Australia that fails to even mention renewable energy.

Meanwhile, around the country and, even more so, around the world renewable energy uptake is being included at every level of strategic long-term and short-term planning.

The WA Greens have labelled the government’s proposed electricity reform program as archaic and short-sighted and are calling on the Energy Minister to resign for consistently failing to widen the scope of his ‘vision’ past economic factors.

WA Greens Spokesperson on energy and climate change Robin Chapple MLC said a lack of leadership on this issue was the state’s government’s greatest folly.

“The premier needs to stop palming all responsibility to tackle climate change – humanity’s greatest threat – off to the federal government,” he said.

“Climate change will affect everybody and is therefore everybody’s responsibility; West Australians are not magically exempt.

“For all this government’s rhetoric on the economy they have failed to notice that proper investment in the renewable energy industry will not only help to mitigate the impending consequences of climate change, but will generate thousands of secure jobs.

“The fossil fuel heyday is over and the mining boom is slowing yet the state government continues to stand around with their heads in the sand.”

Mr Chapple said the state government needed to ditch this electricity reform paper, revisit the Greens Energy 2029 vision, and start again.

“It’s time Colin Barnett and Mike Nahan showed some real leadership and invested in the future of West Australians,” he said.

“Climate change in Western Australia is a lived reality that is already costing jobs and threatening any kind of long term security for the dinosaur industries you love so dearly.”

For comment please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

Sneaky approval of questionable Kintyre uranium proposal

Wednesday, 4 March

Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s overnight approval of the Kintyre Uranium mine proposal was wrong on every level and should be immediately rescinded, according to WA Greens Uranium Spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC.

Mr Chapple said it was an inappropriate given the Office of Regional Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) was still investigating allegations of corruption into the Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation’s (WDLAC).

“The Minister should not have made any decision until the position of the Martu people, with regards to a Uranium mine on their lands, had been absolutely clarified,” he said.

“Instead what Mr Jacob has done is slip this through quietly overnight with complete disregard for the investigation, or the mountain of appeals he has received in opposition.”

Mr Chapple said aside from potential legal ramifications the Kintyre proposal was a major environmental threat to the region’s unique desert environment and lacked the bipartisan political or broader public support necessary to validate its approval.

“This is yet another example of our government’s throwing its weight behind a rapidly ageing industry that will lock WA into an unsustainable future,” he said.

“This proposal will directly threaten the Karlamilyi National Park, the Karlamilyi River water catchment and the many threatened native flora and fauna species that inhabit this unique desert environment.

“To top it off the minister has recommended there should be no rehabilitation bonds, a move that could see liability for the clean-up of this mine fall on the taxpayer and not the company behind the proposal.

“Cameco have an appalling environmental record and are soon to face court in the USA and Canada over allegations of tax avoidance, yet we want to trust them to mine this dangerous mineral in such a fragile part of our state.”

Mr Chapple said issues raised by environmental and Indigenous groups had fallen on deaf ears.

“Appeals submitted on the basis of threats to groundwater, radiological uptake by native flora, the lack of baseline studies and commitments to monitoring in key areas have been dismissed,” he said.

“If this proposal ever wants to see the light of day it needs to be taken right back to step one and properly assessed.”


For comment please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

Media liaison: Tim Oliver           

Mobile: 0431 9696 25


Climate Council throws more fuel on the fire

Thursday, 26 February

The frequency of extreme, heat-related weather events is likely to increase, and continue to increase, given WA’s growing population and dependence on fossil fuels, according to a new report from the Climate Council.

Greens spokesperson on Climate Change Robin Chapple MLC said the report is throwing further weight behind what should already be an accepted concept.

“The science is deafening yet it continues to fall on deaf ears,” he said.

“Already this year in WA we’ve seen record temperatures across the state and devastating fires in record numbers.

“This government refuses to accept any responsibility for tackling climate change; they are deliberately stalling on what is potentially the biggest issue to affect not only Australia, but humankind, ever all the while continuing to throw money away on big fossil fuel projects.

“It is greedy, ignorant, short sighted and quite frankly, ludicrous behaviour.

“Mr Barnett wants to be remembered for his government’s investment in state development; he wants to be remembered for orchestrating the mining boom.

“I have no doubt that history will never forget the backwards actions of this government who failed to act on climate change whilst the rest of the developed world moved forward in leaps and bounds.

“It is a sad legacy indeed.”

A copy of the Climate Council report can be read here.

For comment please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

Media liaison: Tim Oliver     

Mobile: 0431 9696 25

Greens slam government for poor vision on Barrow

Thursday, 26 February


Greens MLC for the Mining and Pastoral region Robin Chapple yesterday slammed the government’s 2015 Barrow Island management plan as largely not addressing the extent of the issues present nor accounting for the growth in size of the Gorgon project.

The environmental management plan lays out the government’s expectations relating to the island’s natural environment, cultural heritage and resources for the next 10 years.

Mr Chapple said the management plan offered nothing useful in the way of restoring what had already been damaged on Barrow Island but instead offered a method of simply managing the status quo.

“There is absolutely nothing new in this plan that wasn’t already a part of Gorgon’s original contract for the island,” he said.

“There has been a large expansion of the project – it is now 2 or 3 times the size it was intended to be – and this management plan fails to address any of the subsequent issues caused by this expansion.

“When Colin Barnett was opposition leader he said Gorgon should never have been allowed on Barrow Island and vowed to force them off should he become Premier.

“As is so often the case with our Premier he has neglected to follow through with this commitment, perhaps hoping the rest of us would just forget about the issue?”

Mr Chapple said Barrow Island was a poorly managed environmental disaster.

“Invasive species at critical levels, injured and threatened native species, loss of natural habitats due to concrete infrastructure, poorly managed quarantine – the list goes on,” he said.

“As the Gorgon project continues to expand so too will the threats to this pristine environment, in particularly the 24 species of endemic native flora and fauna.

“I believe the situation has reached a point where, once Gorgon has vacated the premises, it will take billions of dollars’ worth of reinvestment to return Barrow Island to the sensitive state it was in prior to the arrival of Chevron.”

For comment please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

Media liaison: Tim Oliver     

Mobile: 0431 9696 25


Subscribe to RSS - State Development & Industry
Go to top