State Government must not cave to Shorten’s frack demands

Monday, 11th September 2018

The Greens (WA) have warned the State Government against caving to the wishes of federal Labor leader Bill Shorten to open land up for fracking.

Environment spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said that there was a real risk that Labor would open up WAs North to fracking due to pressure from corporate lobbyists as well as Bill Shorten.

“Bill Shorten has joined a chorus of big business lobbyists calling on parts of Australia to be opened up to fracking. The NT Labor Government just opened up half the Territory to fracking, and Bill Shorten is now calling on the Victorian Government to reverse its fracking ban.

“The WA Government must resist pressure from lobbyists and their federal colleagues, and commit to a total moratorium on fracking in WA.

“The community will not put up with a halfway measure similar to the NT, and we will not allow groundwater to be poisoned in the name of extra cash for big companies.

“There is no future for fracking in WA. Submissions made by Buru Energy saw that there was no plan to properly manage waste from this toxic industry.

“We simply cannot allow an industry like this to operate if we wish to mitigate climate change and keep to our Paris commitments. Climate change is already affecting WA, and for the State Government to rip open WA for fracking would be tantamount to giving up.

“WA has huge potential for solar energy, which is clean, renewable and affordable. The Government should be investing in renewable energy rather than bowing to the pressure of lobbyists and federal Labor.

“Communities are waiting with baited breath to see the outcome of this scientific inquiry, and to see if the WA Government will commit to protecting the land by banning fracking across WA.

“The Greens are backing the communities, farmers and action groups that are firmly against fracking. We are calling on the State Government to join us and commit to a total ban on fracking.”

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490


Damage to rock art on Burrup ignored by Labor in favour of industry: Greens MP

Thursday, 16th August 2018

Greens MP Robin Chapple has labelled claims by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson that industry and ancient Aboriginal rock art can coexist on the Burrup Peninsula as ridiculous.

Despite dramatically changing PH levels visibly damaging the Aboriginal heritage rock art, the Labor Government continues to blindly insist that increased industrial presence on the Burrup is not having an impact.

“What the Minister’s comments show is that this Labor Government will always put their ties with big business over environmental and heritage concerns,” Greens MP Robin Chapple said.

“The very fact that the Maitland Industrial Estate is gazetted and ready to host industry appears to have been lost on this government, who continue to blindly insist that this rock art is not being damaged despite evidence showing otherwise.

“We can have industry, we can have the benefits that it creates, but there is no good reason for this Government to continue on in the face of reason when there is a perfectly suitable, gazetted industrial estate with environmental approvals on the mainland ready for development.

“Make no mistake: The Greens support World Heritage Listing for the Burrup Peninsula, and the Labor Party’s actions are a roadblock to achieving this important goal.

“Minister Dawson needs to come to the table and show that he wants to help achieve World Heritage Listing for the Burrup. Saying you support it is one thing, but when you are supporting heavy industry that is visibly damaging this incredible heritage, the Government loses credibility in this space.

“This Government has dodged Freedom of Information requests, dodged questions, and is trying to dodge responsibility for their actions – well we won’t let them get away with it.

“These claims that industry can coexist with rock art on the Burrup don’t stack up.”

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Government should support local manufacturing jobs: Greens MP

Thursday, 2nd August 2018

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for mining, Robin Chapple MLC, has called for a review of WAs capacity to produce steel for international markets in the wake of a decision to move manufacturing jobs offshore by BHP.

Calling on Pilbara Labor MP Kevin Michel to address local concerns over manufacturing jobs, Mr Chapple argued that an inquiry into the viability of steel manufacturing should be conducted to protect WA jobs in regional areas.

“While there is certainly a need to maintain the viability of producing steel for companies like BHP, good jobs are increasingly hard to come by in regional areas, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

“The silence from the local Labor MP has been deafening, particularly when he has been keen to talk about local jobs in the past. There are 20,000 tonnes of structural steel work being sent offshore and so far we have had no commentary from the Labor Party, or any other party for that matter.

“The Greens want to see local jobs for regional communities, jobs for young people and others searching for work.

“According to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, around 2000 jobs could be sent offshore, jobs that could be filled by West Australians.

“It is certainly worrying that we have heard no update from the local Labor member, so we are eagerly awaiting some sort of response to this issue.

“There is huge potential in the lithium industry for WA, and ideally this will result in downstream manufacturing as well – something that has been lacking in the existing iron ore industry.

“The State Government may well be about to preside over a boom in lithium mining and the potential for battery production so their response to this decision to offshore manufacturing job is indicative of how our burgeoning lithium industry will be handled.

“The Greens would welcome additional manufacturing jobs for WA.”

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490





State Government remote community investment mustn’t stop at Tjuntjuntjurra: The Greens (WA)

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Greens (WA) have welcomed the State government’s recent $23.8 million investment into Tjuntjuntjurra remote community, citing it as a positive step forward in dealing with a worsening remote community water crisis.


 Spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs, Robin Chapple MLC, said it was an encouraging sign that the government was starting to listen to expert advice and community concerns, but that contamination issues don’t stop at Tjuntjuntjurra.


The upgrade comes after consistent efforts by Kalgoorlie paediatrician, Dr Christine Jeffries-Stokes to inform two separate state governments of a fast emerging renal health epidemic.


“Dr Stokes’ research has shown that water contamination doesn’t just stop at Tjuntjuntjurra; there are at least 11 other Goldfields communities exhibiting dangerously high levels of Uranyl Nitrate,” Mr Chapple said.

“Water contamination cannot be addressed in one instance, leaving many remote residents stranded and concerned for the wellbeing of their children.

“I applaud Dr Stokes for her tireless work on remote community renal health, which ultimately led to this life-saving investment, but we mustn’t stop here.


“Access to potable water is a basic human right and WA Labor need to start looking at all other remote Goldfields communities, as a matter of priority, in order to curb  this health epidemic.


“The previous Barnett Liberal government demonstrated astounding negligence on this issue.  I now compel the current Labor government to learn from this failure, and make up for lost time.


Government tries to dodge Freedom of Information over Burrup development

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Greens Mining and Pastoral MP Robin Chapple will challenge the outcome of a Freedom of Information application to the WA Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Information after receiving nine all but completely blanked out pages.

“I have seen large redactions in FoI responses before but this is next-level. This was a routine FoI request, yet the Government is going to unprecedented lengths to keep the details of industrialisation in the North a secret,” Mr Chapple said.

“My original request sought all correspondence between the Department and the proponents of Coogee Methanol Plant and Perdaman Karratha Urea Plant, which was a standard FoI request in terms of scope.

“In May, the Department told me the request would result in too many documents, so I agreed at their urging to amend my application to just the ‘record of any discussion’ between the companies and the Department. 

“The result: nine pages of meeting minutes with all the minutes blanked out – just leaving two meeting dates in May and November 2017 and a list of government agencies who attended along with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

“I will appeal this outcome and reinstate the terms of my original FoI request. This experience does make me wonder if the Department has something to hide.”

Mr Chapple made the FoI application after a briefing note by the Department to the Premier dated April 2018 was leaked. The document purported to warn that timing of World Heritage listing for the Burrup was ‘critical’ as there would be a reluctance for new industries to locate to the Peninsula once the listing had gone ahead.

  • Photo of Robin Chapple with the blank pages attached.

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490


Taxpayers cop fracking costs in Pilbara

Monday 18 June 2018

Seismic surveys in a remote area of the Pilbara announced today by the Mines and Petroleum Minister are effectively a subsidy for fracking companies, Mining and Pastoral MLC Robin Chapple says.

“Once again the Minister is undermining the moratorium on fracking in WA, this time by spending taxpayers’ money on survey work designed to help oil and gas companies,” Mr Chapple said.

“The Minister is making it look as if the McGowan Government has already made up its mind about fracking and will open up the Kimberley and possibly the Pilbara to invasive gasfields such as those we have seen in Queensland and the US.

“Governments and states across the world have banned fracking and the ALP agreed to ban fracking in the Southwest, Peel and Perth because of the risks to tourism, horticulture and amenity.

“Just because there are fewer people in the Kimberley and Pilbara, it doesn’t mean the country is ‘empty’ and can be sacrificed.

“The opposite is true: Traditional Owners are on country all the time carrying out cultural practices and getting traditional foods.

“The Labor Party promised veto rights for Traditional Owners at the election but we haven’t heard anything more: instead, we have heard a lot from the Minister about promoting and subsidising fracking companies.”

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Labor’s FIFO camp undermines Karratha economy: Greens

Tuesday, 5th June 2018

The McGowan Government’s decision to give Woodside the go-ahead to build a new FIFO camp in Karratha is a kick in the guts to the local economy and signals that the damage to mental health caused by FIFO is of little concern to the Government, according to local Greens MP Robin Chapple.

The Bay Village site is opposed by Karratha Council, the Chamber of Commerce and up until recently the ALPs Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, who back flipped to support the project after Ministers indicated their support.

Greens MP for the Mining and Pastoral region, Robin Chapple, said that this camp does not have the backing of local stakeholders or residents, and Woodside should be working to find a solution that better suits the people of Karratha.

“What this decision highlights is that the Government is all too willing to cave in to corporate interests, when we know for a fact that this decision will hurt the local economy and local residents.

“The local Chamber of Commerce predicts that this camp will have a ‘negative’ impact and could result in up to 69 jobs losses and $197 million lost from the local economy over 30 years. There is already an oversupply of short stay accommodation and housing in Karratha, and this project certainly doesn’t help.

“Labor’s Kevin Michel just last September said that this camp does not strike the right balance. What’s changed? Mr Michel needs to decide whether he is backing the Pilbara or whether he’s just here to make up the numbers for the Government.

“The Greens support workers, and in doing so we recognise that the FIFO model is unsustainable for family life and for mental health. Sustainable job creation means investing in regional WA and creating liveable cities and towns in the North West.

“It has been shown time and time again that FIFO has a profound impact on workers’ health and wellbeing, not to mention that of their families.

“This camp is the wrong choice for Karratha, there are alternatives and both the Government and Woodside would do well to reconsider.

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Armistice ends for cane toad front

Thursday, 12th April 2018

A short-lived reprieve for cane toads in the Kimberley appears to have ended with the Minister for Environment confirming that community groups such as Kimberley Toad Busters would continue to be able to operate to stop cane toads spreading into Northern WA.

Earlier this year the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions indicated that cane toads would no longer be considered a pest in the Kimberley, a move slammed by Greens MLC Robin Chapple.

“The idea that the government would all of a sudden give up ground to the cane toads was never a well-considered one, so I am relieved that the government has cleared the moment of uncertainty and re-established their support for communities on the front lines,” Mr Chapple said.

“There were serious concerns that volunteers would need to get a license to bust toads, placing ridiculous bureaucracy onto locals who have done incredible work to slow the march of toads in the Kimberley.

“Thankfully the Minister has agreed with The Greens that continuing to support the good work of community groups is crucial to the fight against cane toads.

“This is a real victory for the environment, for WA’s North and for everyone who continues to put themselves out there to protect WA from further infestation.”

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Nuclear power doesn’t belong in the Pilbara: WA Greens

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for Nuclear Issues, Robin Chapple MLC has labelled a nuclear reactor proposal in the Pilbara as inappropriate and ill-conceived.

The comments follow recent news that Sydney-based consultancy SMR Nuclear Technology were seeking volunteer communities to take on a nuclear reactor, with Port Hedland identified as a potential site.

“Nuclear power is not a safe, clean nor practical solution to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, especially with ever burgeoning renewable alternatives,” Mr Chapple said.

“The economics of nuclear power simply do not stack up; reactor construction costs are escalating whilst renewable energy is becoming cheaper and more competitive.

“Port Hedland, and the whole of Australia for that matter, should be focusing on wind, solar and hydro which is much safer and more efficient than nuclear power.

“When you combine this with the highly volatile nature of Port Hedland’s cyclone season it is clear that the Pilbara is an ill-conceived choice for any potential nuclear power plant.

“There are reasons why both State and Commonwealth laws prohibiting both storage and transport of nuclear waste exist.

“”Nuclear power is an outdated industry and has no place in WA.”

Media contact:
Connor Slight 0422 399 525


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