Protecting The Kimberley

Protecting The Kimberley

Broome: Contaminated plant needs urgent intervention

24 March, 2016

Water Minister Mia Davies has refused to acknowledge Broome South Wastewater Treatment Plant is leaking excessive nutrients into groundwater on Broome Peninsula, according to WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple.

“Roebuck Bay has experienced worsening blooms of the cyanobacteria Lyngbya majuscula over the last decade, possibly due to an excess of nitrogen and phosphorous in groundwater,” Mr Chapple said.

“Last year, the Department of Environmental Regulation reclassified the plant as ‘contaminated – remediation required’, yet the Department has been painfully slow to respond.

“Whilst I appreciate there are seasonal variations, I question why an investigation started in 2014 will not be completed until at least 2018.

“Who knows how severely seagrass meadows, and the ecosystems that depend on them, in Roebuck Bay could be affected; this issue should have been investigated as a matter of priority and the current response does not scream urgency to me.

“Acknowledge the site is contaminated, put serious measures in place immediately to stop the situation from worsening and then investigate, not vice versa.”

For comment please contact Media Liaison Tim Oliver on 0431 9696 25 or 9486 8255.

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          


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