Armistice ends for cane toad front

Thursday, 12th April 2018

A short-lived reprieve for cane toads in the Kimberley appears to have ended with the Minister for Environment confirming that community groups such as Kimberley Toad Busters would continue to be able to operate to stop cane toads spreading into Northern WA.

Earlier this year the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions indicated that cane toads would no longer be considered a pest in the Kimberley, a move slammed by Greens MLC Robin Chapple.

“The idea that the government would all of a sudden give up ground to the cane toads was never a well-considered one, so I am relieved that the government has cleared the moment of uncertainty and re-established their support for communities on the front lines,” Mr Chapple said.

“There were serious concerns that volunteers would need to get a license to bust toads, placing ridiculous bureaucracy onto locals who have done incredible work to slow the march of toads in the Kimberley.

“Thankfully the Minister has agreed with The Greens that continuing to support the good work of community groups is crucial to the fight against cane toads.

“This is a real victory for the environment, for WA’s North and for everyone who continues to put themselves out there to protect WA from further infestation.”

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Greens bill prohibits balloon release

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The Greens (WA) introduced legislation this week that seeks to prohibit the use and release of party balloons outdoors, in an effort to amplify growing public momentum against indiscriminate plastic waste.

Environment spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said the bill will provide clearer restrictions around already-discouraged littering.  

“I recently wrote to every single West Australian local government, asking if they had considered banning or restricting the mass release of helium balloons,” Mr Chapple said.

“To my surprise, 28 councils—representing a constituency of over 1.5 million people, more than half the population of Western Australia—responded and indicated that they had (or were willing to) debate the use of balloons in council parks and buildings.

“If the local governments representing over half of WA’s population believe the mass release of helium balloons is significant enough to consider restrictions, I believe the state government should follow suit.

 “The release of balloons is no longer an appropriate method of celebration, given its widely-accepted harmful effects in the environment.

“Every single synthetic latex balloon that has ever been released has come back down to earth. These balloons remain at least somewhat intact for up to 5 years, posing a threat to a variety of sea creatures who can see it as food.

“As it stands, anyone can inflate and release a helium balloon without any fear of consequence. This is because the current litter act only considers a balloon litter at the moment it touches the ground.

“If passed, The Litter Amendment (Balloons) Bill 2018 will consider the inflation and release of party balloons a littering offence. Officers will be able to issue a fine on the spot.

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Greens signal an end to single use plastics

Tuesday, 13th March 2018

The Greens (WA) environment spokesperson Robin Chapple will today table a petition with over 2000 signatures to parliament calling on members to pass his Bill to ban certain single-use plastics, due to reach second reading stage later this month.

Using the first opportunity of the parliamentary year to do so, Mr Chapple has signalled a clear legislative agenda shift for 2018.

Working with Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign Australia to collect signatures, Mr Chapple said that the bill would create choice for consumers by limiting wasteful single use plastics from entering both landfill and the natural environment.

“We know that by 2050 the volume of plastic in the ocean will be greater than the volume of sea life, which is a heartbreaking and catastrophic outcome,” Mr Chapple said.

“None of the products my Bill seeks to ban exhibit product stewardship, they exist purely for a few minutes convenience and will ultimately end up as landfill, litter or food for marine life.

"What we are initiating is a simple legislative tweak that puts an environmental onus on retailers and makes life easier for consumers who are serious about reducing unnecessary waste.

“Removing single use plastics from the supply chain will create choice by opening up a market for reusable materials and cleaner, more sustainable options.

“There has been a clear groundswell of community action, with individuals, community groups and businesses taking carriage of waste reduction.

“Communities are doing the heavy lifting, whilst the government plays catch-up.

"I'm calling on the government to take this petition very seriously, listen to the people and ban single-use plastics.”

A copy of the petition and associated materials can be found at: www.robinchapple.com/banplasticswa

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Cane toad reclassification could stymy environmental protection efforts: Greens WA

Wednesday, 14th February 2018

Cane toads will no longer be considered pests in the Kimberley due to a reclassification by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, a move that has caused concern for Greens WA member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple.

The reclassification has raised major questions regarding the government’s approach to the invasive species and whether funding can be guaranteed for mitigation programs into the future.

“The government must clarify whether they have given up and ceded this territory to the cane toads, or whether they will support the Kimberley to continue the fight,” Mr Chapple said.

“The Minister can certainly expect questions on this issue, the people on the frontlines deserve to know whether they will continue to receive support with eradicating the invasive species.

“For community groups such as Kimberley Toad Busters that are collecting or exterminating cane toads in the area, this reclassification could have a dramatic impact on their underappreciated yet incredibly important work.”

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


Taxpayer subsidies for mining industry must be reformed: Greens WA

Monday, 5th February 2018

A recent report by the Australian Conservation Foundation showing the Australian government will spend less than half on environment and biodiversity programs than mining companies receive in fuel tax credits shows how critical it is that miners pay their fair share, said Greens WA Mining spokesperson Robin Chapple.

The ACF analysis shows that this financial year the mining sector will receive $2.5 billion in fuel tax credits, dwarfing the total federal environment investment.

“What is clear is that there is not only an obscene amount of money being spent to prop up the coal mining industry in particular, but there is also a critical underfunding of environmental initiatives across the nation,” Mr Chapple said.

“When the coal industry alone may receive more in subsidies than the entire federal environment department, you know that the priorities of the government are warped, short-sighted and ultimately dangerous.

“While environment budgets are facing deep cuts, the current laws allow for the excise on fuel to be claimed back against company tax, effectively subsiding an industry that has little need for assistance.

“It is a disastrous position for the federal government to shake down environmental protection with one hand while simultaneously giving taxpayer dollars to some of the world’s largest miners.”

Mr Chapple’s comments come as the Minerals Council of Australia pushes for reduced company tax rates, arguing that miners already pay enough tax.

“The Minerals Council of Australia has once again shown that it will cynically put company super profits ahead of the need for Australia to be able to fund critical environmental protection programs that benefit our regional areas.”

Media Contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Air quality concerns raised: Greens WA

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson can expect scrutiny of his decision to allow hazardous waste to be stored at an incinerator once parliament returns, according to The Greens (WA) waste spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC.

The medical waste incinerator in Welshpool will now double as a storage facility for other hazardous waste following approval from Mr Dawson.

“While incineration of medical waste is an essential service, hazardous waste incineration can have a major impact on air quality for nearby residents,” Mr Chapple said.

“I will be raising the issue with the Minister to ensure that only medical waste is incinerated at the Welshpool facility and other hazardous materials are processed appropriately with strict controls on air quality reporting.

“Minister Dawson can expect questions once parliament returns to ensure that this facility and similar facilities will be regularly and adequately reporting on emissions.”

Media contact:
Liam Carter – 0449 151 490

Environment Minister must protect Helena Aurora Range from Mining: Greens

Friday, 24 November 2017

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for the Environment, Robin Chapple MLC welcomed today the Environment Minister’s decision to dismiss the industries appeals against the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) assessment on a proposal to mine iron ore in the Helena-Aurora Range.

“It is encouraging that the Minister for Environment found the EPA's assessment to be rigorous and comprehensive, and to mine for iron ore deposits within the Helena-Aurora Range as environmentally unacceptable, Mr Chapple said.

In 2014, the EPA recognised the Greater Western Woodlands as a biodiversity hotspot and a sanctuary for a number of species found nowhere else on earth – but this advice was ignored by the former government.

It is time for the Environment Minister to protect this incredible feature of our environment and to give the Helena Aurora Range Class A, National Park status. ”


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