Monday, 15 January 2018
The length of waiting lists to access community housing in Kalgoorlie-Boulder should be a cause for concern for the McGowan Government according to Greens WA Member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple.
Mr Chapple said that recent comments by Liberal member Kyran O’Donnell, who described community housing tenants as ‘welfare families,’ are damaging and ill-informed.
“Housing is a basic human right and everyone should have access to appropriate, safe, secure and affordable dwellings,” he said.
“The fact that families doing it tough are being left in poor conditions or even without a roof over their heads is tragic and the Member for Kalgoorlie’s role should be about finding solutions rather than stoking tensions and laying blame.
“For Mr O’Donnell to say that harsher penalties and putting families onto the streets will solve the housing crisis is far from helpful.”
Mr Chapple called on the government to investigate options to find suitable accommodation for people currently on the waiting list for housing in WA.
“What the public deserves is a government that will approach housing in the same way that we approach healthcare and education – as a human right.
“With over 150 applicants on the community housing waiting list in Kalgoorlie-Boulder alone, the government must address the demand for shelter as a matter of urgency.
“This is a systemic issue and one that is reflected across regional WA by unacceptable wait times, which in some parts of the state such as West Kimberley far exceed two years on average.”
Monday, 8 January 2018
The Greens (WA) member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, has welcomed the government’s decision to reverse cuts to Schools of the Air, but has called on Labor to not close the camp schools associated with the SOTA program.
Despite cuts to SOTA being reversed, the future of camp schools in WA remains uncertain with the government seeking to reduce costs.
“Camps are integral to the socialisation of SOTA kids, and are a crucial resource for rural areas that should not be in the firing line,” Mr Chapple said.
“What the government now needs to do is commit to ongoing funding for regional students and remove the threat that has been hanging over remote parents for weeks now.
“The government’s change of heart is certainly welcome, but remote families expect a full walk back on all cuts to regional education.
“We will continue to fight against the closure of the camp schools and will support regional communities in their efforts to be heard by this government.”
Tuesday, 9 January 2018
The Greens (WA) are hopeful that the threatened closures of eight regional mining registrar offices will be temporary.
Robin Chapple said he hoped the Department of Mines recognised the importance these offices have within the regions, not just for miners and prospectors but for the entire community who use the offices to register births, deaths and marriages.
“The ALP government need to stand by their word and recognise the importance of a high standard of service delivery in attracting people to our regions to improve and maintain a high standard of service delivery in regional communities,” Mr Chapple stated.
“It is not good enough that the Norseman office is closed because the government can’t attract workers to the regions or the Coolgardie office is closed because the government doesn’t have the funds to restore a building.
“Strong, vibrant local shires and regional communities are integral to the sustainable development of our State, and the mining industry is significant to the economic stability of the entire State of WA.
“I call upon the McGowan government to ensure all of the regional offices are opened as soon as possible and are well supported to service the communities’ needs. It is just not good enough that Norseman residents will only be provided the service twice a month and have to travel to Kalgoorlie to do so.
“These offices are not just important for the mining sector but are a functioning part of regional communities,” he added.
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Greens spokesperson for Education Hon Alison Xamon MLC and Robin Chapple MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region have again called on the Government to reverse its decision to cut $64 million from the State’s Education budget from 2019.
Ms Xamon MLC and Robin Chapple MLC said the decision to axe School of the Air (SOTA) and reallocate the functions of SOTA to The School of Isolated Distance Learning (SIDE) raised concerning questions.
“If it is anticipated that SIDE will take over functions of School of the Air, but are they being given any budget to do that?” Ms Xamon asked.
“Is it seriously being suggested that SIDE has been operating with surplus funds to spare?”
“It is a terrible decision to cut SOTA, which we know works very well for students and their families in remote areas of this huge state.
SOTAprovides an invaluable classroom environment and essential opportunity for socialisation for children already isolated.
“SOTAis an essential service for a State as vast as WA. The axing of SOTA is a miniscule amount of savings but a massive impact, the effects of which will be felt in my electorate for years”, said Mr Chapple
We both call on the Minister Sue Ellery to urgently reverse this truly appalling decision.
Clearly this is being driven by the inexcusable level of debt ($43.8 billion by 2020) left by the former Liberal/National Government.
But to cut these sorts of basic social and education services is not the way to go.
Mr Chapple said, “The money was there to maintain the service, by increasing the Gold Royalty ($400M) voted down by the Nationals and Liberals, but we still can get rid of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) ($20M) and reinstating the Mining bond system which has already retired over $1 Billion back to industry leaving the state with a rehabilitation debt already of between $70M to a staggering $270M and this debt will only increase.”
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.
Connor Slight - 0422 399 525
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
The Greens (WA) spokesperson for Nuclear Issues, Robin Chapple MLC has labelled a nuclear reactor proposal in the Pilbara as inappropriate and ill-conceived.
The comments follow recent news that Sydney-based consultancy SMR Nuclear Technology were seeking volunteer communities to take on a nuclear reactor, with Port Hedland identified as a potential site.
“Nuclear power is not a safe, clean nor practical solution to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, especially with ever burgeoning renewable alternatives,” Mr Chapple said.
“The economics of nuclear power simply do not stack up; reactor construction costs are escalating whilst renewable energy is becoming cheaper and more competitive.
“Port Hedland, and the whole of Australia for that matter, should be focusing on wind, solar and hydro which is much safer and more efficient than nuclear power.
“When you combine this with the highly volatile nature of Port Hedland’s cyclone season it is clear that the Pilbara is an ill-conceived choice for any potential nuclear power plant.
“There are reasons why both State and Commonwealth laws prohibiting both storage and transport of nuclear waste exist.
“”Nuclear power is an outdated industry and has no place in WA.”
Wednesday, 29 November 2017
The Greens WA have called for the Government to increase funding for their current fracking inquiry after parliamentary probing revealed the study’s limited resources last night.
WA Greens Mining & Petroleum spokesperson Mr Chapple said it was critical the study into hydraulic fracture stimulation and its potential environmental effects be properly financed or it will run the risk of losing credibility.
“It was revealed through questioning that the inquiry has been allocated a concerning lack of resources, with less than $600,000 available,” Mr Chapple said.
“$600,000 is not a lot when you consider the economically smaller Northern Territory put aside more than $3 million for their fracking inquiry.
“Without adequate funding the panel won’t be able to undertake the thorough consultation and research hydraulic fracking needs.
“They will begin to rely on public servants, which will raise further questions on the inquiry’s independence.
“If the budget for this inquiry is not significantly expanded, it is in very serious danger of becoming a rubber stamp.”
Connor Slight – 9486 8255
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. ”
Greens Healthy Oceans spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says Malcolm Turnbull is rewarding the bad behaviour of Japan by seeking deeper ties while ignoring its continued intransigence over whaling.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Japanese whalers are currently in the Southern Ocean, just off the coast of Australia’s Antarctic Territories and slaughtering our whales in breach of Australian law and international condemnation.
“Malcolm Turnbull could have used this occasion to serve a warrant to the Japanese Government to force it to attend the Federal Court and pay the outstanding $1 million fine it owes for breaching Australian law.
“Malcolm Turnbull is a hypocrite for going after state governments over law and order when he deliberately ignores the ongoing illegal actions of a foreign government. He either believes in a rules-baed international order or a he doesn’t.
“Australia should not deepen any ties with Japan while it continues to break Australian law and ignore international condemnation. We have leverage here to stop Japanese whaling but instead we are giving them everything they want while asking nothing in return.
“The Australian people expect the Australian PM to represent their interests in international affairs and the Australian people do not want whaling in our waters. It’s time for the PM to listen and act,” he concluded.
The Government must guarantee that all students offered a place at university will have their study funded, following billions of dollars in cuts that puts at risk 10,000 places this year alone, according to Universities Australia.
“The effect of the Liberal Government’s $2.2 billion cuts to higher education are already having a huge negative impact on our young people’s futures. They’ve made it harder for universities to guarantee funded places and they’re making it harder for students from low income families,” Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Hopeful students and their parents deserve answers from the Education Minister: is their university place funded? Will students be supported during their time at uni? This should be an exciting part of a young person’s life, taking the first step into adulthood, that is now fraught with fear that the system cannot support them.
“Students who slogged their way through Year 12 with the hopes of going on to further their education find themselves today against a Government that sees higher education as a burden, not an investment.
"With record youth unemployment and a changing workforce, young people more than ever need a university education to get a job.
“Every taxpayer subsidises the value of higher education because we recognise that a well-educated country is a benefit to all of us. The Turnbull Government is failing the graduates of the future, many of whom are reading their names in the newspaper today wondering how they’re going to make this work.”