North West

Karratha Health Campus a Recipe for Disaster

Wednesday 17 September

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has criticised the planned location for the new Karratha Health Campus, at which earthworks have already begun, as irresponsible and totally ignorant of climate facts.

Mr Chapple said it was irresponsible to base the safety of the site on 500-year storm surge data as this system did not take into account climate change.

“This is fundamentally a bad site to build a hospital,” he said.

“We have seen, and will continue to see, an exponential increase in climatic events throughout Western Australia.

“These climatic events are changing swiftly in their nature, becoming more extreme and less predictable.

“In the case of an extreme weather event the hospital, the lifeline for all those people affected, will be the first building to be wiped out; it’s completely exposed.”

Mr Chapple said the government should be taking every precaution with new infrastructure in Karratha if it wanted to maintain the long-term sustainability of the city.

“Just 2000 years ago this whole North side of town, all the way to the hills, was completely under water,” he said.

“Climate change is fact, we will continue to see an increase in the frequency and severity of weather events in Northern Australia, and we will almost certainly see a rise in sea levels.

“Only when governments and councils acknowledge and properly address the rapidly approaching doom will we have any chance of managing and mitigating its effects.”

Mr Chapple also said the site’s location was worrying because of its proximity to the ill-fated Pelago towers.

“There is speculation about the stability of the ground at the site,” he said.

“In particular, we are trying to ascertain whether the Pelago towers 1 and 2 are settling and what effects this could have on both the towers themselves and any new infrastructure, such as the proposed health campus.”

A report released today by The Climate Council, titled ‘Counting the Costs: Climate Change and Coastal Flooding’, has outlined more clearly than ever before the potential fiscal impacts of climate change on coastal populations.

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

WA Greens claim Horizon Power has abandoned our regions

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, claims Horizon Power has abandoned our regional areas.

‘When the state government announced today they will make 61 positions redundant in their blue collar areas of the Pilbara, Midwest, Kimberley and Esperance they announced the decimation of our regional areas,’ Mr Chapple said.

‘This government approved cost reduction strategy will cost $7M in redundancies but it is based on a strategic review undertaken by a United States consultant company which cost the state government many millions of dollars.

‘I am astounded that this government thinks this is good practice.

‘By paying for and listening to very expensive advice from the United States, Horizon Power has abandoned our regions and is not a community player.

‘Horizon Power has dumped more workers onto an already overloaded scrap heap of workers by this state government.

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


WA Greens Call for Public Inquiry into Deaths in Custody

Friday, 29 August

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has joined calls for a public inquiry into the death in custody of 22-year old Yamatji woman Julieka Dhu.

Ms Dhu was arrested on August 2 for unpaid fines and transferred to the South Hedland watch-house where despite vomiting, worsening pain and two hospital visits she remained incarcerated for more than two days until she was taken to Hedland Health Campus for a third time and pronounced dead on August 4.

Mr Chapple said the government should be doing everything in their power to figure out why this tragedy happened, and why similar tragedies continue to happen across our state.

“My deepest condolences go out to the family of Julieka Dhu, and the greater Yamatji community, for this heartbreaking loss,” he said.

“The account given by Ms Dhu’s partner in the days leading up to her death is simply horrifying; the police officers and medical staff involved have a lot to answer for.

“Whatever happened to duty of care? Primarily both of these services exist in the interest of public safety so clearly there is a very serious flaw in the system.”

Mr Chapple said a public inquiry was only the first step in resolving a long-standing, and deepening, mistrust between Aboriginal communities and state services.

“Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that this sort of thing never happens again,” he said.

“We need to take another serious look at those recommendations that have come out of other incidents such as this, especially the death of John Pat 30 years ago in Roebourne at the hands of five officers and more recently the tragic death of Mr Ward in the back of a prison van.

“More importantly, we actually need to implement a significant number of these recommendations and get some change happening in the way we treat Aboriginal people in this state.

“Incarcerating Aboriginal people, and indeed anyone, for such minor offences as an unpaid fine solves absolutely nothing, and generally costs more than the fine itself is worth; it should be a last resort option.”

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




No New Coal in WA

Coal is a major contributor of global warming. Power generation through coal is inefficient and dirty. The use of coal has major risks for the environment and the health of our communities.

Environment Minister refuses to protect our migratory whales in North West

Greens (WA) member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, is astounded that the Barnett government has not, and will not assess the impact of marine access points in the Exmouth Gulf on our migratory whale population.

‘The Minister for Environment has stated twice on the public record that he has not and will not carry out a strategic or cumulative impact assessment in the Gulf on the raft of marine access points on our migratory whale population,’ Mr Chapple said.

‘When I asked questions in Parliament, the Minister for Environment stated that no significant or strategic proposals have been recently referred to the Environmental Protection Authority to warrant a cumulative impact assessment,’ said Mr Chapple.

‘I am outraged that our Environment Minister has admitted to being aware of the studies carried out by the Centre for Whale Research here in WA but will still not assess the impact,’ Mr Chapple said.  ‘The studies show increased vessel traffic in humpback whale resting areas is likely to result in whale displacement near areas immediately associated with ships,’ Mr Chapple said.

‘Increased vessel traffic and increased noise levels have a serious impact on cow/calf pods by increasing their active behavior patterns in order to move far away from the stimulus. Cows, who will not feed until they reach the Antarctic, need to conserve their energy and calves need to use their energy for growth and blubber deposition to survive in the cold water further south.’ Mr Chapple explained.

‘If the Minister is serious about protecting our precious marine environment then I call upon him to assess the impact of marine access points, ports and Marinas in the Exmouth Gulf on the migratory whale population,’ stated Mr Chapple.

Contact: Robin Chapple 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255


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