Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PLASTIC BAG BILL WELCOME, a.l.p. support for such moves long OVERDUE: GREENS

The Greens today expressed tentative support for a Labor Bill that would ban plastic shopping bags from WA retail outlets, but said that ALP support for such moves was long overdue.

Greens MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple said that he was pleased to see Labor had “finally caught up with The Greens (WA) in advocating a serious move away from excessive plastic bag use in retail.”

However, Mr. Chapple said that Labor had previously not supported a similar attempt by The Greens dating back to 2002 which would have imposed a levy on plastic shopping bags.

“The Greens have been ahead of the game on this issue but unfortunately when we first pushed for movement in this area Labor support was not forthcoming and Western Australia was left to contend with the plastic bag issue since then.”

Mr. Chapple also said that while he gave tentative support for the Bill, which was introduced by The Hon. Sally Talbot MLC, a levy on plastic bags would still be preferable to an outright ban.

“People will occasionally get caught without their reusable bags – it’s happened to me – and a ban would force such people to buy new reusable bags that they don’t actually need.”

“A levy, instead, on the necessary plastic bags for such rare occasions would be help people remember to bring their ‘real’ bags… and the plastic bags they get that way can always be put to any number of uses.”

“In addition, a levy on plastic bags could provide a source of revenue for the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Program, which as I have previously stated was subjected to daylight robbery by the Barnett Government last year.”

Media Contact: Robin Chapple on 9486 8255

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: (08) 9486 8255 | Email: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610

Australian Legal Team Slater & Gordon investigating Sigma Pharmaceuticals

Slater & Gordon investigating Sigma Pharmaceuticals

National law firm Slater & Gordon is finalising a detailed investigation into disclosures made by Sigma Pharmaceuticals which have led to today’s dramatic share price plunge.

Mr Ben Phi, a senior litigation lawyer from Slater & Gordon’s Commercial & Project Litigation group, said “on the basis of what we’ve seen to date, shareholders of Sigma Pharmaceuticals appear to have every right to feel aggrieved today”.

On 31 March 2010, Sigma Pharmaceuticals announced a loss of $385 million for the 2010 financial year. Its underlying net profit was some 26.5% below the market’s expectations. In response, Sigma’s share price opened at $0.40 – a 55% fall from the last closing price of $0.90 recorded before a four-week trading halt.

“The company has disclosed a cash flow crisis caused by increased competition and margin pressures in its generics business,” Mr Phi said.

“The goodwill impairments announced by Sigma relate to aggressive competition in the generics market and PBS reforms, which have been known to Sigma for some time.”

“Slater & Gordon is investigating whether Sigma has breached its continuous disclosure obligations, and also whether the company had a reasonable basis for its September profit guidance.”

“We are particularly concerned with whether Sigma’s disclosures have been appropriate, both in terms of what has been said to the market and what has not been disclosed, particularly given that $300m in capital was raised in September 2009,” Mr Phi said.

“It’s easy to understand why many shareholders may feel that they have been misled by Sigma,” he said.

Media inquiries

Ben Phi, Senior Associate, (03) 9602 6804
Angela Bell, Senior Media Advisor, (03) 9602 6845

Established 75 years ago, Slater & Gordon has built a powerful reputation as a law firm which fights for the best outcomes for everyday Australians. Today Slater & Gordon offers its broad range of legal services at more locations than any other law firm in the country, delivering affordable legal advice and justice to more Australians.

Angela Bell
Senior Media Advisor
Slater and Gordon Lawyers

485 La Trobe Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

T: +61 3 9602 6845 M: 04303 55554
F: +61 3 9600 0290

100331 Simga Pharmaceuticals Investigation.pdf

Australia’s Black Dog Ride is on again to raise awareness of depression and stem the ride of suicide – March Update

Black Dog Ride Newsletter

March Update



There have been some exciting developments at Black Dog Ride since our last Newsletter. Before we break the news we would like to share with you a stark reminder of why BDR exists and why we need your support to continue raising awareness of mental health in our community.

"Of your closest friends, family and colleagues, about 1 in 5 will suffer mental ill health this year — but most won’t discuss it, and most won’t receive treatment.

Mental ill health is the leading killer of Australians under 45, and the leading cause of disability in Australia." Patrick McGorry – Australian of the Year.


Yes Minister!


We are pleased to announce Dr Graham Jacobs, WA Minister for Mental Health, is joining the Black Dog Ride for Lamp on Sunday April 18 . The Minister, who once raced motorbikes at Wanneroo Raceway, is dusting off the leathers to support the cause after a long absence from the saddle. We thought there may be a problem when he told us his 1970’s Suzuki 500 Titan, which hadn’t seen the light of day for many a long year, may not be up to the task but our good friends at Auto Classic jumped to the rescue and loaned him a BMW for the ride. Yes Minister, we call that going above and beyond the call of duty!

Media and PR


Black Dog Ride welcomes up and coming Media and PR consultant Chloe Jarvis to the team. We are thrilled that Chloe is donating one or two days a week out of her busy schedule to help with media liaison and public relations. The media plays an important role in helping us to raise awareness on a large scale and Chloe’s involvement in this area will be a huge asset. Chloe can be contacted at media .

Help spread the word – forward this newsletter to a friend!
Black Dog Ride P.O. Box 1191 Busselton W.A. 6280

steve | Twitter


Families in Australia | 9 April Deadline for Papers to the National Summit Melbourne May 24,25

National federation of Parents, Families and Carers

Families in Australia


Melbourne 24-25 May 2010
Angliss Conference Centre Melbourne

National Summit of Parents Families and Carers

With Speakers

Steve Biddulph Author
Cathy Sherry University of NSW
Melinda Tankard Reist Author
Jenny Shale Educator and Parent Activist
Tania Clarke Independent Education Union
Fim Jucha Family Disability Activist
Daniel Donahoo Author
Anne Manne Author

Register Here

Call for Contributions

Papers and presentations are invited from parents, siblings and carers; support organisations; service providers; policy makers; researchers; governments and community leaders on parents, families and carers in Australia – in services, policy and politics.

Presentations may be papers, workshops, proposals or displays.

Contributions are invited which address these themes in the following three conference streams:

1. Services

Family experiences, case studies, innovation and reform proposals in the areas of:

  • Families and social relationships, isolation and connections
  • Supports for children, families and carers
  • Person and family-centred funding arrangements
  • Health care and families
  • Disability, ageing and social support
  • Families and schools
  • Families and child care
  • Indigenous families and communities

2. Policy

Perspectives on:

  • Paid parental leave/ living allowance for parents and carers
  • Work and care: should policy favour the paid workforce?
  • Fatherhood, parenting and caring
  • The new debate on institutionalised care – from disability and mental health to child care and aged care
  • Payments to families or payments to providers? – the voucher debate
  • Families and schools
  • How do governments form policy in relation to families?
  • Advocates, brokers and agents for families

3. Politics

Perspectives on:

  • Who are working families and who speaks for us/them?
  • The public voice of families – where is it?
  • Ideology in ‘family’ politics
  • The public invisibility of stay-at-home parents and carers
  • The diversity of family forms and moral conservatism
  • Funded advocacy organisations and ‘voice’
  • Shaping the public agenda
  • Political representation for parents/carers

Expressions of interest in presenting should be forwarded by 9 April 2010 in an email of no more than 300 words to:

Vern Hughes
National Summit Convenor
Tel: 03 9824 4713

From Change.org – Preventing Veteran Suicides; Immigrants and Census 2010; Texas Execution Delayed

March 22 – March 28

Preventing Veteran Suicides; Immigrants and Census 2010; Texas Execution Delayed

A story on Change.org this week deeply affected our team, and we think it’s important to share.

The story is of Sergeant First Class Lance, who joined the Army when he was eighteen and served for nearly two decades, most recently in Iraq. He was a year and half away from being able to retire with full benefits. Lance regularly told his wife that he loved the Army, its community, camaraderie and discipline. It was the career that he was meant to be doing.

Then, after returning from his second tour of duty in Iraq, Lance stood in front of his wife and children, put a gun to his head, and took his own life.

Stories like Sergeant First Class Lance’s are, tragically, not uncommon. Suicide rates among soldiers are the highest they have been in nearly three decades. There are months when there are more suicides among soldiers than troops killed in the line of duty, with an average of five soldiers a day trying to take their own lives.

In trying to explain her husband’s situation, Lance’s wife says that he was driven into deep depression after his second tour, and her attempts to reach out to the Army for help didn’t get him the treatment he needed. "He wasn’t afraid of dying," she says. "He was afraid of living with all the images he had seen in Iraq."

Changemaker Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), writes on Change.org this week that veterans returning from wars face a new battle — the transition from combat to civilian life. That transition comes with many challenges, including mental health injuries and an ineffectual disability benefits system.

But perhaps the biggest challenge is the disconnect between veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the general public. Many Americans today have no personal connection to these wars other than what they see on television, as less than one percent of the country has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. One consequence is that the burden of war falls squarely on the shoulders of just a few — veterans who give everything for their country, and their families, who are often the forgotten casualties of war.

A groundswell of activists at IAVA.org is working to build a new veterans rights movement, energizing people across the country to take action on behalf of veterans through volunteering, giving and raising awareness. You can join them in this fight here, and help ensure that those who have sacrificed so much get the care and benefits they deserve whenever they return home. That includes veterans like Sergeant First Class Lance.

For more news and commentary from this week in change, see the summaries below.

Top Actions This Week

Stop Expanded Logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
by The Wilderness Society
Take action »

Demand Republican Support For Reducing Runaway Corporate Election Spending

by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Take action »

Tell Congress to Fund Crucial Programs to End Human Trafficking
by Amanda Kloer
Take action »

Start a Petition »

DdztwdCNGrMnPQV-58x43-cropped.jpg Immigrants and Census 2010
By now you should have received your census form in the mail and been blasted with media messaging telling you to "Be Counted," and that the act of counting each and every person living in the United States is "In Our Hands." Nice rhetoric, but it certainly doesn’t address the tension that exists between the government and immigrants when it comes to the census. Immigrant Rights blogger Lauren Markham writes that while undocumented immigrants are expected to fill out the census, continuing immigration raids by the feds are a strong deterrent. (Read More)
QHTgwlmobCGsJcH-58x43-cropped.jpg Texas Execution Delayed
Minutes before Texas was to put Hank Skinner to death this past week, the U.S. Supreme Court swooped in to delay the execution until the justices could decide whether to grant a full review of his case. Thousands of Change.org members have lobbied for a review of the DNA evidence in Skinner’s case through a campaign started by The Innocence Project, and the public attention generated helped bring this case to the forefront of national discourse. The battle isn’t over, however. We must now work to keep the pressure on Texas Gov. Rick Perry and others involved in the case to ensure that another execution date is not set before Skinner receives the DNA tests that can prove his innocence or guilt. (Read more)
HLQUOKiNDnnVsWC-58x43-cropped.jpg Health Care Stunts
The nation made history last week as President Obama signed a health care reform bill into law. But in the wake of that proud moment, fourteen limelight-loving state attorneys general have filed suit against the federal government, claiming that the health care bill is unconstitutional because it includes an individual mandate to buy insurance. Health Care blogger Josie Raymond writes that this political stunt by opponents of health care reform is going to go down in a ball of flames. And here’s why… (Read more)
QYMZgyHBMSUJRmh-58x43-cropped.jpg Banning Smoking at Beaches
Cigarette butts are the most frequently collected pieces of trash at beach cleanups, and these toxic tobacco stumps are dangerous pieces of litter. Environment blogger Chris Santiago writes that the chemicals from cigarettes are toxic for fish, and that marine animals have difficulty eating and digesting food once they have ingested particles from cigarettes. That’s why activists are celebrating in California this week, as the state moves one step closer to banning all smoking on beaches. (Read more)
KxPQJGreCEfwUZo-58x43-cropped.jpg Truckers and Prostitution
There is one group of Americans who are perhaps more powerful than any other to stop children from being sold into prostitution: truck drivers. The reason? Human Trafficking blogger Amanda Kloer writes that truck stops around the country are the source of a huge amount of sex trafficking, with truckers serving both as customers of sex as well as witnesses to the trafficking of young girls across the interstate highway system. (Read More)

Thanks for reading,

– The Change.org Team weekly_update_counter?id=OjreBNNrKr