Greens MP and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann has accused the
NSW Government of knowingly putting workers and the environment at risk
following news radioactive waste has been 'rediscovered' during the
Pacific Highway upgrade near Port Macquarie.
"It's outrageous that workers and the environment have been put at risk
like this. The government knew that highly radioactive waste was there
somewhere, but presumably just hoped it would never resurface," said Ms
"This is negligent behaviour and nearby residents and workers who have
now been put at risk have the right to demand answers.
"The presence of this dangerous material should have been considered
prior to the upgrade with a full management plan – that's no easy task
and requires very careful planning.
"What we've got here is a blasé attitude when it comes to some of the
most dangerous waste imaginable. Why weren't the workers prepared for
the discovery of this waste? Why were road workers even there?
"There is potential for serious long term health impacts from exposure
to radioactive waste. The fact that some have reported to have vomited
during the discovery is extremely worrying.
"How was the environmental impact statement signed off in the first
place when there was a chance of disturbing radioactive material? It
looks like the government has put workers safety and the environment at
risk for the convenience a highway upgrade," said Ms Faehrmann.
Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727