Waste Management

Waste Management

All local governments should adopt balloon release ban: Greens

Tuesday, 24 October 2017
The WA Greens have called on local governments to adopt similar laws to the Town of Cottesloe regarding the release of helium-filled balloons, given the State Government has no intentions to amend the Litter Act.
Environment Spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said he was still hopeful that McGowan Labor government would see sense and include amendments to the Litter Act targeting balloon releases when they move to introduce a ban on plastic bags from July 2018.
“We want it to be acknowledged under West Australian Law that when a balloon is released from the hand, it becomes litter,” Mr Chapple said.
“This is what Cottesloe have proposed to do recently within their local jurisdiction, and I applaud them for that move, and others such as Cockburn are considering the move as well.
“I have written to every single City, Town, Council and Shire in Western Australia asking them to consider our fragile marine environments and do the same.
“Every single synthetic latex balloon that has ever been released has come back down to earth where it would have remained intact, or partially intact, for up to 5 years posing a threat to a variety of sea creatures who might see it as a food source.
“It is estimated the volume of plastic waste in our oceans will be greater than sea life by 2050 if we keep consuming and disposing of waste at current rates, and we are already at a point where micro-plastics have entered the food chain of which we participate.
“That’s why we’re calling on local councils across WA to stand up to the State Government and adopt a ban on balloon releases.”
Please find attached copy of the letter sent by Hon Robin Chapple MLC to every local government in Western Australia.
Media contact:
Tim Oliver – 0431 9696 25

Why waste time? Support our bill on plastics: Greens

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

WA Greens Environment spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC indicated today he was cautiously optimistic the Government would be willing to work with the Greens to progress his bill to outlaw single-use plastics in WA.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson conceded today that his preference would be for a state-wide ban on single-use plastics bags, rather than leaving it to local councils.

“The Government’s initial response to my bill was to state that they had no plans in the near future to introduce state-wide legislation banning any kind of single-use plastic items, and that they would rather see local government’s shoulder that burden,” Mr Chapple said.

“Environment Minister Stephen Dawson’s apparent deviation from the party line today, suggesting his office is looking at state-wide legislation, leaves me hopeful we can work together to progress my bill.

“Leaving this important task up to local governments will ultimately prove to be a regulatory nightmare, with ratepayers and businesses having to navigate different rules suburb-to-suburb.

“Ultimately, if the Government is serious about cutting down on the most common and damaging types of plastic in our oceans and ecosystems then legislating at a state level is the only way forward.

“My bill is already on the Legislative Council’s notice paper. If we have the same ultimate goal – to ban the most harmful, single-use plastics produces by our society – then let’s work together to get this legislation passed in some form as soon as possible!”

More info: robinchapple.com/banplasticswa 

Media Contact: Tim Oliver 0431 9696 25

WA Greens hope new recycling plant will spur Government into action on damaging plastics

Thursday, 01 June

WA Greens Waste spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said he was excited to see regional councils and shires utilising Cleanaway’s new Materials Recovery Centre (MRF), the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

“WA has had abysmally low recycling rates – the lowest in Australia – for far too long and it’s uplifting to see that we’re finally doing something about it,” Mr Chapple said.

“Remote and regional areas in particular have a real problem with waste management, so it’s really important that local governments take the initiative when it comes to improving recycling practices.

“A large part of the problem is educating consumers about cutting down on products that are non-recyclable and changing the way our society consumes, but making sure we have the infrastructure in place to deal with our waste is a significant step forward.

“I’ve got a real bee-in-my-hat about the over use of plastics and the damaging effect they are having on our fragile ecosystems, particularly our oceans. It is crucial that we introduce legislative controls to limit or ban the use of these kinds of materials – including plastic bags – as soon as possible.

“The WA Greens will fight to make sure WA Labor stick to the commitments they’ve made to ban plastic bags, and would like to see improvements to any legislation to include other types of damaging plastic waste such as micro beads.

Media contact: Tim Oliver 0431 9696 25




Broome: Contaminated plant needs urgent intervention

24 March, 2016

Water Minister Mia Davies has refused to acknowledge Broome South Wastewater Treatment Plant is leaking excessive nutrients into groundwater on Broome Peninsula, according to WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple.

“Roebuck Bay has experienced worsening blooms of the cyanobacteria Lyngbya majuscula over the last decade, possibly due to an excess of nitrogen and phosphorous in groundwater,” Mr Chapple said.

“Last year, the Department of Environmental Regulation reclassified the plant as ‘contaminated – remediation required’, yet the Department has been painfully slow to respond.

“Whilst I appreciate there are seasonal variations, I question why an investigation started in 2014 will not be completed until at least 2018.

“Who knows how severely seagrass meadows, and the ecosystems that depend on them, in Roebuck Bay could be affected; this issue should have been investigated as a matter of priority and the current response does not scream urgency to me.

“Acknowledge the site is contaminated, put serious measures in place immediately to stop the situation from worsening and then investigate, not vice versa.”

For comment please contact Media Liaison Tim Oliver on 0431 9696 25 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



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