Following revelations Orica used misleading information to justify its
current pollution remediation plan to local residents, Greens MP and
environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says the Environment Minister
Robyn Parker has no choice but to intervene and force Orica to pay for
independent testing. See article in today's Sydney Morning Herald here
Testing is needed to determine the extent of Mercury contamination
from Orica's former ChlorAlkali facility at Matraville in Sydney's
Residents say the company attempted to blame other nearby industry
including a former crematorium, a power station and event home
thermometers for the problem. Their claims have been debunked by UNEP
accredited remediation expert Andrew Helps, who has demonstrated these
sources could only account for a fraction of the problem.
"Orica's ridiculous broken thermometer and tooth filling defence
should be a red flag to the Environment Minister Robyn Parker. It's
clear Orica can't be trusted when it comes to protecting the
community's health," said Ms Faehrmann.
"Orica is the polluter - not the regulator. It's not good enough that
they are being trusted to take all the right steps. The Minister has
to step in and take control and reassure the community their concerns
are being taken seriously.
"Anyone who lives near the site has the right to demand answers
regarding what their families are being exposed to, especially when
the company behaves in a secretive and defensive manner. Complete
transparency is the bare minimum residents deserve.
"Orica should be bending over backwards to remediate the pollution
they caused, not making excuses and passing the buck.
"We saw what happened last time Orica and the Minister didn't take the
public's right to know seriously - the Kooragang Island spill was a
public relations nightmare because the public were left in the dark
for too long.
"In the end, the government has to take responsibility when
corporations refuse to take their responsibilities seriously. That's
why Environment Minister Robyn Parker must immediately step in and
ensure comprehensive and independent testing takes place of the soil
and homes around Orica site," said Ms Faehrmann.