Pilbara

Greens MP slams pollution levels, calls for renewable energy

Tuesday, 20th November 2018

Greens MP Robin Chapple has raised concerns that any further industrialisation of the Burrup Peninsula would accelerate pollution levels, potentially making the air quality of the Karratha area one of the worst in Australia.

According to a recent report by the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Karratha based post code area of 6714 currently has 38741283.97 kg of emissions in the air, from 31 polluting facilities.

This places it as the 10th most polluting post code in all of Australia.

Alongside Newman, which ranks 2nd in Australia with 199441803.1 kg of emissions from 15 polluting facilities, the Pilbara area is one of the most heavily emitting regions in the nation.

Mr Chapple said that not only was the Burrup Peninsula under threat, but that WA is disproportionately contributing to climate change.

“The IPCC report recently released says that we have around a decade to act to avoid catastrophic climate change, and meanwhile the McGowan Government is championing further industrialisation in the North West.

“It is environmental vandalism of the highest degree. We are quite literally trashing the climate for future generations.

“Due to fossil fuels, pollution is so bad along the Pilbara coast that weather radars often show rain even on the sunniest of days. This is absolute madness.

“We simply cannot afford to further shirk our responsibilities to combat climate change, and with a truly incompetent federal Government it is even more urgent for the State to up their game. Instead, the McGowan Government are pushing on blindly ahead with climate wrecking projects.

“We need action on climate change and air pollution now. There is simply not enough time, we must rapidly transition to renewable energy or face the consequences of people dealing with not only polluted air but an extremely volatile climate too.”

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Report: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5115779/ACF-Pollution-Report.pdf

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

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