MEDIA Greens: Minister closes community, forcing families onto streets

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region


Greens: Minister closes community, forcing families onto streets

29th September 2011

Greens MP Robin Chapple has criticized the state government for its decision to close Oombulgurri community today, effectively washing its hands of the community’s citizens.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Peter Collier today announced in Parliament that the Government would formally close the community after what he claimed had been an ‘extensive process’.

“The Minister has failed the community by forcing its residents to leave their traditional country,” Mr Chapple said.

“I am very concerned that the people of Oombulgurri have been forced out of their homes by the staged withdrawal of services.

“Despite Mr Collier’s claims, the government has not adequately consulted with the community and Balanggarra traditional owners about the closure. Many residents wanted to stay but could not after essential services such as the store were closed.

“This is a cruel act by a Government more concerned with saving money than caring for people’s welfare.

“In Wyndham people are already seeing the effect of the moves, with a marked increase in homelessness, overcrowding, the neglect of children and a variety of problems exacerbated by easy access to alcohol.

“It appears this decision has been made without any planning for transitional housing and traditional owners and community service organisations have raised concerns with me about a very serious housing crisis.

“The greatest tragedy is that the closure of the community will do nothing to address the stated concerns for the safety of women and children.

“Closing a community, forcing families into homelessness, moving children from one risky situation to another risk, raises very serious human rights concerns.

“I call on the government to work more closely and respectfully with the Balanggarra Traditional Owners, members of the Oombulgarri community and non-government organisations to achieve a better outcome.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on or (08) 9486 8255

Kate Davis

Research Officer

Office of Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

Direct line kate.davis |

tony in the grand final

Have you seen the new video from clubs about pokies? We’ve never seen such awe-inspiring honesty before! Check it out:
Pokies hero

Dear tony,

Clubs Australia are spending the big bucks to convince us that reforms aimed at helping problem gamblers with pokie machine addiction are "UnAustralian." They’re trying to walk both sides of the street: saying that reform will ruin the revenue they receive from problem gamblers, while at the same time saying that reform won’t reduce problem gambling!

We call bull****.

This week, Clubs Australia announced that they’ve teamed up with NRL bosses to launch an ad campaign during this weekend’s widely watched footy grand finals. They’re not letting the truth get in the way of a good story: this "footy tax" will be the death of sport and punting in our country!

After listening to gross distortions of the facts from respected club leaders we couldn’t sit back and watch any longer; so we created a TV ad to highlight the absurdity of their position.

Check out the video, share it with friends, and chip in to put it on air this footy final weekend. If enough of us chip in together now, we can book primetime spots during this weekend’s NRL and AFL Grand Finals. The more we raise together the better the ad spots we can get. Will you join us and be part of it?

Without reform, pokie machines enable a social problem that can ruin individuals, families, businesses and marriages. The clubs say they need problem gambling profits so they can give back to the community, but most clubs receive more in tax breaks, and spend more on advertising than they give back to their local communities.

The numbers make a case that is hard to ignore:
– A problem gambler can currently lose $1,200 in just one hour on high-intensity machines1
40% of pokie losses come from problem gamblers; that’s $5 billion of the $12 billion Australians lose on pokies each year2
– A study in Victoria found that 1 in 10 problem gamblers say they’ve contemplated suicide because of problem gambling3.

Australia has the greatest number of dangerous high-loss pokie machines in the world. These machines have been called the "crack cocaine" of gambling – and for good reason. They are designed to be highly appealing to addictive personalities, making them unique compared to other forms of gambling.

While Clubs executives are spending millions playing fast and loose with the facts, Australian families are dealing with the harsh reality of problem gambling. It’s time for reform that limits the prevalence of high-loss machines and gives problem gamblers a way to choose how much they’re willing to lose on the slots before they get carried away in the moment.

Clubs that profit from gambling losses are doing everything they can to preserve their pokie profits, but we don’t have to let them get away with it.

Help us run our ad and make the case that Clubs Australia needs weaning off their addiction to problem gambling profits – chip in here.

Earlier this week, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou may have said it best: "Please stop talking on our behalf – just shut up." Let’s make sure that the clubs are not speaking for us.

Enjoy the footy!
– the GetUp team.

PS – TV spots are filling up fast for the weekend. We’re working with media buyers to grab the best spots possible using the money we raise together. We’ll start with ads during the NRL Grand Final in regional NSW, VIC and QLD and the AFL Grand Final in Sydney. Then, if we raise more, we’ll book more available spots. The more we raise together, the better the ads we can get. chip in here – we’ll update the website as ads are locked in.

1Gambling Report Volume I (Report No 50), Australian Productivity Commission, 26 February 2010, p. 24
2Gambling Report Volume I (Report No 50), Australian Productivity Commission, 26 February 2010, p.19
3The Contribution of the Australian Government to Mental Health in Australia, Submission to Senate Inquiry Into The Provision of Mental Health Services in Australia 2005, Attachment 19

Barnett must take a clear stand on foreign ownership of Western Australian mines

Barnett must take a clear stand on foreign ownership of Western Australian mines

Media Release: Senator Scott Ludlam, Robin Chapple MLC, Thursday September 29th, 2011

Premier Colin Barnett is speaking with a forked tongue on Chinese investment in Western Australia, WA Greens said today.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said Mr Barnett’s expression of concern about the proposed sale of the Wesfarmers Premier Coal mine in Collie clashed with his enthusiastic support of Chinese exploitation of WA resources.

“Last week the Premier happily announced a deal that rolls out the red carpet for Chinese mining companies, and this week he expresses concern about the kind of activity he is encouraging.”

Premier Coal is the major supplier for the state-owned Verve Energy, which delivers the majority of the South-West’s electricity. The sale is subject to a review by the Federal Government’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

Senator Ludlam said it was hypocritical of the premier to express concern that WA major coal fields had “moved into foreign hands” while also admitting the State would probably not oppose the latest sale.

“The Premier wants it both ways – a fire sale of WA’s resources while pretending to be concerned about energy security. If the State Government was serious about long-term energy security, they would expand our renewable energy sector, rather than banking on a finite, polluting energy source that is now almost completely foreign-owned.”

Greens WA MLC Robin Chapple said if the Premier was genuinely concerned by the proposed take-over he should review his deal to roll out the red carpet for Chinese mining companies.

“It is extraordinary that Mr Barnett would sign a deal to increase the ease with which Chinese companies exploit WA’s resources, then play at being worried by the natural consequences of such a deal.”

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

Media Alert: No Harvey No! Global 24 hours of action launched for Aussie forests

The Last Stand

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

This morning, forest campaigners from The Last Stand visited Harvey Norman stores in Melbourne and Hobart to launch a global 24 hours of action targeting Harvey Norman, which will be held around the world on 7 and 8 October.

The Last Stand served Harvey Norman with an ‘Action Overdue’ notice, alerting the company to the upcoming global action and informing them that action on halting the sale of products sourced from Australia’s native forests was long overdue.

‘In 10 days time, the whole world will be standing up and saying No Harvey No! Stop selling Aussie forest destruction! From the streets of London to the white sands of Vanuatu, and at Harvey Norman stores across Australia, the global community will be speaking out against the continued devastation of Australia’s spectacular native forests’ said Ula Majewski, spokeperson for The Last Stand.

Community members will be taking action at multiple Harvey Norman stores in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, and actions are planned in a multitude of countries, including Canada, India, Colombia, Belgium, Indonesia and South Africa.

‘Today, we have served a notice on Harvey Norman to inform them that action for our world-class native forests is long overdue, and calling on them once again to stop profiting from the industrial-scale devastation of these irreplaceable ecosystems’ said Ms Majewski.

For more information about the upcoming global 24 hours of action, which will held on Saturday 8 October in Australia, go to

To download a pdf copy of this Media Release, click HERE and to download high resolution images of this morning’s store visits, click HERE.

For comment, contact:
Ula Majewski 0413 732 946
Nicola Paris 0422 990 040

The Last Stand Inc.


Rudd must mark Saffron Revolution anniversary by working for justice for Burma

Rudd must mark Saffron Revolution anniversary by working for justice for Burma

Media Release: Senator Scott Ludlam, Tuesday September 27th, 2011

With this week marking the fourth anniversary of the Burmese regime’s crackdown on protests by Buddhist monks, the Australian Greens called on Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to take action to establish a United Nations inquiry into crimes against humanity in Burma.

Four years on from the Saffron Revolution, 222 monks are still imprisoned in Burma while not a single perpetrator of the violent repression has been held to account.

The Greens spokesperson on Burma, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the Australian Government had voiced support for a UN Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma but had done little to make it a reality.

“Support in principle is a good step, but it is only the first step – We need to see the Australian Government take a leading role in pursuing justice for Burma.

“Elections have been held in Burma, but very little has fundamentally changed. The power of the military remains institutionally entrenched, military and political figures implicated in horrendous crimes remain not only at large, but in positions of authority and privilege.”

Senator Ludlam urged Minister Rudd to take decisive practical action to establish the Commission of Inquiry.

“Australia has a responsibility as an international citizen and as a part of our region to shine a spotlight on human rights violations and crimes of this scale – and to work for justice.”

Senator Ludlam encouraged concerned Australians to support Burma Campaign Australia’s online petition to the Minister:

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302