Aboriginal Affairs & Heritage

Aboriginal Issues

Guarantee funding for remote communities say Greens WA

Tuesday, 20th February 2018

The Federal government is shifting their responsibilities to fund housing in remote communities according to The Greens (WA) spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple.

The State Labor government and Federal Coalition government are locking horns over funding responsibilities to housing in remote communities, with Mr Chapple throwing supporting a push to increase the share paid by the federal government.

“The Greens WA and I support the push for a funding agreement that ensures stability and quality services into the future.

“What is concerning is that the unwillingness to fund remote housing and services is creating circumstances similar to those that were used to announce the closure of communities by the previous Barnett Government.

“The longer it takes for State and Federal governments to quarrel over money, the longer remote communities will live with uncertainty for their future.

“The Federal government must come to the table and front up the money to provide quality services and housing throughout remote communities in WA.”

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Yeelirrie ruling a hollow victory for uranium industry: Greens WA

Wednesday, 8 February 2018

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for Nuclear Issues Robin Chapple has labelled the Supreme Court ruling on the proposed Yeelirrie Uranium mine a hollow victory for the uranium industry. 

“Despite the Supreme Court dismissing CCWA’s appeal against the original ministerial endorsement for Yeelirrie, this is not the final roadblock for Yeelirrie and other Uranium mines," Mr Chapple said. 

“In fact this decision is only a hollow victory, the uranium industry is on its last legs with bloating costs and increasing competition from renewable alternatives. 

“It is incredibly disappointing to see the law rule in favour of an economically untenable, environmentally unsound and highly dangerous project.

“After campaigning against further uranium projects during last year’s election the state government have been alarmingly quiet, they need to develop a stronger position

“Even when the Supreme Court agreed with the EPA that Yeelirrie will cause extinction and fail to meet the objectives of the Environmental Protection Act, they made this decision.

“I tip my hat to CCWA and the traditional owners who initiated this appeal and have fought tirelessly against the risky and ruinous mineral that is Uranium.

 “Believe me when I say the fight against Uranium in Western Australia is far from over."

Media contact:

Liam Carter – 0449 151 490


Greens hit back on cashless claims

Thursday, 8th February 2018

The Greens (WA) Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region and spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple has hit back at calls for the cashless welfare card trials to go ahead in the Goldfields after a disallowance motion failed to pass the Senate.

Mr Chapple said that he is disappointed that current trials will continue to roll out despite mounting evidence that the cashless welfare card was not working.

“Figures show that the implementation of this trial in Kununurra has resulted in even greater levels of antisocial behaviour; the trials simply don't justify further rollout.

“Police stats for Kununurra saw 82 more instances of theft and 160 more property offences after the introduction of the card.

“We need programs that intercept people before they fall down the path of antisocial behaviour, programs the Australian government is intent on gutting.

“A community based approach to antisocial behaviour is something The Greens have been advocating for many years and I am disappointed that Labor and the NXT have moved away from this measure.

“This is a fundamentally failed process being pushed onto communities that need social support, not paternalism.

“Look at the increased rates of assault and theft since the introduction of the card. Is controlling the income of people on a shoestring budget really the way to go?”

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 10 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.


WA Greens hopeful Senate committee will recommend stronger protections for Ancient Burrup rock art

Monday, 16 October 2017

The WA Greens are hopeful a senate report into the impact industry emissions are having on the Burrup Peninsula’s ancient rock  art, due to be handed down this Wednesday, will initiate action to ensure this internationally significant site remains protected.

The Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications will release its report into the Protection of Aboriginal Rock Art on the Burrup Peninsula this coming Wednesday, 18 October.

WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple said he hoped the committee recognised both the global significance of the site, and the very real threat of permanent damage already posed by the concentration of heavy industry on the Peninsula.

“The Burrup Peninsula is the most incredible living art gallery containing literally millions of petroglyphs that record human occupation of this area for up to 40,000 years,” Mr Chapple said.

“It’s not just important for archaeological or anthropological reasons, or even just for cultural reasons; it is a site unlike anywhere else in the world and we as Australians should be proud of the heritage and knowledge that this place stores.

“The impacts of the industrial emissions from the many different industries present on the Burrup-Maitland Industrial Estates was highlighted at length during committee hearings by leading experts in the fields of archaeology, anthropology and Aboriginal heritage.

“I am hopeful that the exposure of significant flaws in previous rock art monitoring programs, and new research from Sydney University showing the damage that industrial emissions is having on rock surfaces within the industrial estate will have weighed heavily on the committee’s recommendations.

“Best case scenario is that there must be an entire overhaul of the existing industries on the Burrup Peninsula to ensure we are not getting acid-raid like scenarios damaging ancient rock art, and a complete ban on any new development along the Peninsula.”

“Despite the State Government’s recent draft Rock Art Strategy  showing virtually no change in the site’s management, and no tangible outcomes for future management, I am hopeful that we can get this globally significant site the World Heritage Listing protection it deserves.

On Wednesday, 18 October the report will be made available here: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/BurrupPeninusla

Media Contact:

Tim Oliver – 0431 9696 25


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