Kimberley

Greens: Mandatory sentencing unfair, disproportionate

Thursday, 17 September

The WA Greens have criticised the state government and opposition for passing tough mandatory sentencing laws that breach the international convention on the rights of a child.

“It was extremely disappointing to see such universal support for a bill that is so fraught with opportunities for misuse and unintended consequences,” WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple said.

“The convention states that in a case involving a minor, detention must be a last resort - these laws remove the ability of a court to use discretion and hence clearly breach the convention.

“We should be allowing the judiciary to make decisions relating to children, not mandating from Parliament.”

WA Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said that mandatory sentencing had a disproportionate impact on marginalised West Australians with little evidence to suggest that it reduced crime in any context.

“Home burglaries are ultimately a crime of despair – it would be nice to see a government who was willing to actually invest in people and invest in rehabilitation,” Ms MacLaren said.

“I challenge the State Government, and Canning candidate Andrew Hastie, who has weighed into this debate to support mandatory sentencing extensions - to produce their evidence to show that mandatory sentencing will reduce the number of home burglaries.

“I also challenge the Government to commit to implementing the policies that are known to work to reduce crime. That is, long term, research-linked, community-based strategies, including health-based substance abuse programs.”

For comment please contact media liaison Tim Oliver on 08 9486 8255 or 0431 9696 25

Shameful: Government outsources remote community jobs at Mowanjum

Friday, 11 September

WA Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple MLC said he was disgusted to learn this morning that community maintenance work at Mowanjum, undertaken by local men, had been outsourced to a Victorian contractor.

“I have never been more ashamed than of the Barnett government’s relentless attacks on Aboriginal people, agency and culture in Western Australia,” Mr Chapple said.

“All the Government rhetoric about reform for remote Aboriginal communities to address social issues means absolutely nothing; they simply do not care.

“It has been proven time and again that local, meaningful, employment is one of the most effective methods of dealing with mental health issues in remote communities.

“There is a fundamental flaw in the system here and that is where reform should be targeted; these at-risk young men were undertaking meaningful work within their own community and are now unemployed.”

For further comment please contact media liaison Tim Oliver on (08) 9486 8255 or 0431 9696 25

WA government concedes solar way forward, bans battery storage

Wednesday, 2 September

WA Greens Energy spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said he was astounded to learn of a provision in Synergy customer agreements that prohibited them from installing a household battery, or charging an electric car.

"Battery storage systems are going to completely revolutionise the way that we use energy, offering West Australians the opportunity to simultaneously save money and cut their household emissions," Mr Chapple said.

"The Greens solar postcodes report, produced by Senator Scott Ludlam, has shown that 1 in 5 WA households now have rooftop solar - an increase of 19% in just one year - suggesting that WA is prime for the uptake of emerging battery technology.

“The WA Greens predict battery storage systems will be at the forefront of a huge energy shift and as such are re-evaluating their Energy 2029 plan so that we have the best policy to allow West Australian's to benefit from new energy generation technologies.

“But bizarrely the Barnett government seems to be blocking it out of the market completely; a response that is protectionist and frankly not in the best interests of their constituents.

"Under it’s current structure – with an almost $600 million annual subsidy – Mike Nahan has conceded the WA grid is unsustainable, yet in practice the Barnett government’s policies tell a different story.”

Mr Chapple said he had grave concerns about some of the broader implications of the policy for society.

“These systems will allow people with sleep apnoea or home dialysis machines to be secure in the knowledge that their device is not going to switch off in the event of a power outage which, let’s face it, is an all too common theme across parts of this state,” he said.

“Home security systems will be less reliant on grid power, as will firefighting capabilities in an emergency situation – I could go on and on.”

Mr Chapple said he was also afraid large numbers of Synergy consumers might have already signed the agreement.

“We have almost 50% of households in the Canning electorate with some form of rooftop solar; did Synergy force them all to agree to these Terms and Conditions?” he said.

“To me, this is a policy that is punishing those very consumers who have taken the first step towards sustainable energy generation. It is a policy approach that dictates to those wishing to take up solar that they must maintain the status quo.”

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

Media liaison: Tim Oliver // 0431 9696 25          

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