Greens MP Chapple calls on EPA Chief to resign

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has hit out at comments made by Environmental Protection Authority chief Paul Vogel today supporting mining companies seeking to ‘streamline environmental approvals’ ahead of conservationists.

“Mr Vogel needs to be reminded that his primary task is to protect the environment, not promote mining and other destructive industries, particularly when it comes to something as toxic and untested in WA as uranium mining,” Mr Chapple said.

“If Mr Vogel is so keen on promoting industry maybe he is in the wrong job.”

Mr Chapple is also calling on the Environment Minister Bill Marmion to act and stand Mr Vogel aside, pending a full review of his publically expressed views and actions since his appointment, to see whether he is fit for the job of Chairman of the EPA.

“The people of Western Australia need to take a long hard look at the Barnett-Grylls government’s relationship with the mining and business sector and I think they will find conflicts of interest at all levels.

“The Conservation Council of WA was quite correct to criticize WA’s deficient approvals process. I have many more examples of these practices. One only needs to look at what has taken place within the EPA this year regarding approvals for the development of the Browse LNG processing plant at James Price Point.

“If Mr Vogel is serious about the role of the EPA as ‘facilitating ecologically sustainable development’ then he has a completely different idea of this concept than what is regarded as acceptable by forward-thinking people elsewhere in the world.

“In the 1980s we saw the Burke Labor government working cheek by jowl with the corporate sector. That scandal became known as WA Inc. We now have the Barnett-Grylls government taking on their mantle,” Mr Chapple said.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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