James Price Point stripped of any heritage value

Tuesday, 2 June 

WA Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple MLC has expressed dismay at revelations site ‘LSC11, the ‘Lurujarri Song Cycle’ path, is not considered to be of heritage value by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA).

Walmadany, or James Price Point, is an Aboriginal site of immense mythological value to all Aboriginal communities from Broome (Minyirr) through to Coulomb Point (Minarriny) for its place in the song cycle path.

Mr Chapple said it was curious that the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO) advice on section 5(b) of the Aboriginal Heritage Act (AHA) was sought within the timeframe of the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee’s (ACMC) assessment of the ‘song cycle path’.

“Advice from the SSO allowing a new interpretation of section 5(b) of the act was endorsed by the ACMC at a time when the government was simultaneously pushing ahead with its Browse industrial hub proposal for James Price Point,” he said.

“This same SSO advice allowed for the song cycle path to be removed from any heritage lists entirely and it’s record is now kept by DAA in the heritage category of ‘Stored Data/Not a Site’.

“We are talking about a significant piece of heritage for the Aboriginal communities of the Dampier Peninsula, an oral heritage map or living memory of the landscape and its traditions passed down through generations.

“Whilst I’m not suggesting there was any malicious intent behind these actions, I do find it curious that a place of such significance was stripped of any legal heritage value at the same time as this controversial project was being promoted by the government.

“Aboriginal site LSC11 was lodged by DAA officers on 27 July 2011 as an Aboriginal Heritage site with section 5(a) – (d) of the AHA being shown as applicable.

“I would like to see a promise from this government that, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision and sheer weight of protest against development at this sacred site, any Aboriginal sites associated with James Price Point, especially LSC11, will be reassessed for their heritage value with renewed vitality.”

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

Media liaison: Tim Oliver // 0431 9696 25         

Greens Kimberley forum a resounding success

Tuesday, 26 May

The WA Greens have praised the Kimberley community for its engagement on a range of important regional issues at the Kimberley Green Future Forum, hosted in Broome over the weekend.

Australian Greens Deputy Leader Senator Scott Ludlam and Senator Rachel Siewert joined WA Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC for the public forum.

Threats from fracking and large scale uranium mining, the closure of remote indigenous communities, uncertainty around the rollout of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, renewable energy uptake in the Kimberley and changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act, amongst other issues, were all brought to the table.

Mr Chapple said it was fantastic to be able to have a conversation with the community about issues that were genuinely important to them; regional areas, particularly the far North of WA, are too often ignored by politicians.

“For us, the Greens, it was about getting up there and showing that we care about Kimberley issues and are willing to fight for them at a state and federal level,” he said.

“As a member representing the Mining and Pastoral region it was also exciting to be able to give my electorate the opportunity to engage face-to-face with my federal colleagues just as I know they were excited to be there.

“I was personally humbled that we had such a great turnout, especially members of the East Kimberley Greens who had travelled from Kununurra and some who had come in from the desert, and such a high level of intelligent engagement; Kimberley people are passionate about protecting this beautiful and unique region and I applaud them for it.”

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

Media liaison: Tim Oliver // 0431 9696 25          

Government should remember promise to help Broome’s homeless

Monday, 18 May

Greens member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has reminded the Government of their promise to address homelessness in Broome.

After a Four Corners story exploring Colin Barnett’s threats of Remote Community closures aired recently, the spotlight moved to Broome and its homelessness epidemic.

“A short stay Visitors Centre was promised to be built in Broome 5 years ago, but the construction fell apart due to disagreements over the location of the building,” Mr Chapple said.

“Nothing has been done since the proposal fell through, the $13 million set aside for Broome was moved to Derby and Kalgoorlie, leaving no means with which to house Broome itinerants.

“The government set out trying to solve a problem but left when it got too hard, and it seems they haven’t done anything to address it since.

“Hopefully the Four Corners program will have reminded people that the problem was never fixed and, if the proposed closures of remote communities goes ahead, it will only get worse.

“Short stay Visitor Centres are alcohol-free, family friendly sites that can cater to a high number of people for up to a few months and includes meals and access to support services.

“A centre like this would be truly beneficial for the more that 100 homeless people in Broome.”

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

Media liaison: Tim Oliver // 0431 9696 25          

Lack of Due Diligence in Broome Environmental Surveys

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has renewed calls for the State Government to halt land clearing for an industrial estate on the outskirts of Broome, this time to ensure there is no damage to the Cable Beach Ghost Gum (Corymbia paractia) dominated Priority 1 Ecological Community.

“The information emerged this week as conservationists and scientists were taking a closer look at ways of protecting the Bilby habitat,” Mr Chapple said.

“The question needs to be asked: what were the agencies who provided approvals for the clearing thinking?

“The late discovery of not one but two species listed as Vulnerable, in an area already approved for clearing, shows a lack of due diligence on the part of all agencies involved,” Mr Chapple said.

Cable Beach Ghost Gums are an extremely restricted Eucalypt species and endemic to the Broome area.

The rarity of the Greater Bilby and Cable Beach Ghost Gum, inappropriate land clearing, weeds and fires were among the greatest threats to their survival.

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

Greens to address Broome rally on community closures

Thursday, April 23

Greens member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC will be speaking in Broome tomorrow at a rally against the government’s proposed remote community closures.

Mr Chapple said he was honoured to have been invited by community leaders to speak at the rally.

“The closure of remote communities will see an influx of people moving into regional centres, like Broome, putting extra pressure existing infrastructure,” he said.

“The government’s logic here is totally flawed; there is an already acute housing shortage in the Kimberley and regional service providers across the state will be placed under immense pressure.

“Economic and social problems will be caused, rather than alleviated, by forcing people to leave country as ties with the land form a significant part of culture and identity.

“History is about to repeat itself; the proposed closures will erode significant progress that has been made and result in generational trauma for Aboriginal Australians.”

More information about tomorrow's rally and the movement in general can be found here.

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

Media liaison: Tim Oliver           

Mobile: 0431 9696 25

Bilby colony discovered on Broome land earmarked for clearing

Thursday 30th April 2015

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC has called on the State Government to halt all land clearing in the vicinity of a newly discovered Bilby colony near Broome.

“The Environment Minister must act immediately to stop the clearing that is currently being carried out by Landcorp on the outskirts of Broome,” he said. 

Environs Kimberley has been monitoring the Bilby colony, which is comprised of at least ten burrows, for some time.

The patience of their staff was rewarded recently when camera trap footage showed Bilbies coming and going from the burrows throughout the night.

”The clearing, which is for an industrial estate, will see 400ha of native pindan woodlands bulldozed, and the Bilby colony is right in the midst of this,” Mr Chapple said.

“The Greater Bilby is officially recognized as Nationally Vulnerable and must be afforded the highest level of protection.

“This is a thrilling discovery, and is a strong indication that there may well be more Bilby colonies within the area earmarked for clearing. This simply must not be allowed to happen.

“I congratulate the diligence of Environs Kimberley staff Dr Malcolm Lindsay and Neil Hamaguchi in their stringent efforts to protect the colony.

“While I understand that environmental surveys have been carried out in the area, it seems the appraisal team missed this colony, or the Bilbies have moved in since.

“Regardless, all parties must now plan their future moves in light of this information.”

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


Media liaison: Tim Oliver           

Mobile: 0431 9696 25


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