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‘The accidental MP’: Robin Chapple on The Bench

From searching for Che Guevara to making wheels for McLaren, with a quick detour in experimental pig farming, it’s been a truly unique journey for The Greens WA Hon. Robin Chapple MLC to become the Member for the massive Mining and Pastoral Region.

In our latest edition of The Bench, the ‘accidental politician’ tells Cannings Purple’s Peter Klinger about the twists and turns in a journey that took him from the marshlands of south-east England to the Australian outback.

Unfiltered, unguarded and sometimes unconventional, The Bench shows WA’s politicians as you’ve never seen them before.

Coming to Australia

If not for an unlikely series of events involving an Argentine revolutionary and a planned but untaken boat trip to the Galapagos Islands via PNG, free-spirited Robin Chapple would never have happened across Aboriginal people and settled Down Under.

A flock of 4000 budgerigars

The solitude and silence of WA’s most isolated desert areas take a lot of beating in Robin Chapple’s eyes.

Eagles or Dockers?

Collingwood holds no place in Robin Chapple’s heart … but what about when it comes to WA’s two AFL teams?

Pigs might fly – but not get the flu

Long before he joined Lynn MacLaren in the WA Greens, Robin Chapple was helping build wheels for McLaren racing cars in the UK. And his early career got even more interesting from there.

“The land owns us”

In his day-to-day life in regional WA, Robin Chapple grapples with an indigenous approach that he happily admits he understands but “can’t comprehend.”

“If you can’t say it in three seconds, don’t say it”

Robin Chapple understands what the media wants and why politicians are so keen to deliver it. But that doesn’t mean he agrees with it.

“The most stupid piece of legislation ever introduced”

As a Greens MP who has worked for BHP, Robin Chapple admits he must tread a complicated line at times. He’s keen to ensure WA’s abundance of minerals isn’t squandered.

From vote-counter to an MP … in seconds

“Oh my God, what do I do now … this is going to be one of my longest jobs ever.” Like Geelong star Tim Kelly getting passed over in five AFL drafts, Robin Chapple was into his sixth election before he finally won office…then suddenly found himself representing an electorate nearly as big as Europe.

A bush-loving builder

When Robin Chapple wants to get away from the pressures of Parliament, he really gets back to basics.

Word association: “Evil personified”

Robin Chapple takes on The Bench’s legendary word association challenge and one thing is for sure – he’s not backwards about coming forwards.

Watch the full interview

Robin Chapple’s tale is truly a fascinating one – so why not watch it in full?

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