Toxic Truth: Conroy calls for EPA assurance Boolaroo safe

ANSWERS: Charlton MP Pat Conroy wants the EPA to assure the community that Boolaroo is safe.
ANSWERS: Charlton MP Pat Conroy wants the EPA to assure the community that Boolaroo is safe.

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CHARLTON MP Pat Conroy has called on the NSW Environment Protection Authority to prove to residents of Boolaroo and surrounding areas that their community is safe.

Speaking in federal Parliament on Monday night, Mr Conroy called for further investigation into lead contamination caused by the former Pasminco smelter.

‘‘The NSW government, through the EPA, is obliged to ensure the conditions of its remediation order are adhered to,’’ he said.

‘‘It is a basic tenet of our democracy to expect government to have the capability and the motivation to conduct the most thorough assessments when it comes to our environmental and public health.’’ 

Mr Conroy said he was keen to see the results of a new round of blood lead level testing to be conducted on children living in Boolaroo next year.

He would also fight for more funding for extra decontamination works if they were found to be necessary.

‘‘If further testing of lead levels is required, this must be done immediately,’’ he said. ‘‘If there is cause for the establishment of a fund to deal with contamination, I will be the first to lead the charge to ensure the government responds accordingly.’’

Mr Conroy reiterated his commitment to ensure that federal legislation prevented companies from walking away from their responsibility to clean up areas which they had contaminated.

‘‘We must ensure that, on the one hand, governments of all levels learn from these incidents and impose thorough restrictions when assessing the viability of a development, existing or proposed,’’ he said.

‘‘But we must ensure that the validity of these decisions cannot be undermined by the lack of one very simple principle: what is in the best interest of the community.’’

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