'A Plague on Both Your Houses...'

November 14, 2003 - Greens (WA) spokesperson for Industrial Development Robin Chapple MLC today blasted both major parties for consigning the Barrow Island Nature Reserve to the petrochemical industry, and refusing to subject the Barrow Island Bill 2003 to scrutiny by a Parliamentary committee.

'I have become wearily familiar with the Gallop Government's incomprehensible rhetoric on how this development is somehow sustainable, but today the Liberal Party opposition sank even lower,' Mr Chapple said.

'The Liberals essentially agreed in the debate that the Greens were right in demanding the Committee look into whether this State Agreement Act was in the public interest.'

'They agreed that as it stands the development is going to provide nothing to the communities of the north-west. They agreed that the island is a unique and fragile ark that has been entrusted to us by earlier generations of Australians. Then they voted against even the limited scrutiny a Parliamentary Committee could have provided,' Mr Chapple said.

'While Mr Barnett chases headlines with displays of mock concern for the values of the island, the Liberal Party showed their real colours this afternoon, falling in meekly behind the Government to defeat the Greens.'

'This episode again demonstrates just how close the two major parties are on the issues that count. Outside the comfortable Parliamentary cocoon, these decisions will continue to have devastating impacts. In a few decades when the Gorgon gas fields have been sucked dry, our children are going to want to know why we sacrificed Australia's Ark just to make life easier for an American oil major.'

'They will no-doubt be relieved to find out that it was all to do with sustainability,' Mr Chapple said.

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