In Environment

South Australia Deputy Opposition Leader Mitch Williams

Labor Takes Opposition Advice On Contamination

Victor P Taffa

The Liberal Opposition is pleased the Environment Protection Authority has taken its advice on how to handle an environmental contamination crisis.

In July this year, documents obtained under Freedom of Information revealed the Environment Minister Paul Caica was trying to cover up the latest toxic groundwater contamination.

The documents revealed the EPA had notified Mr. Caica in August 2010 of groundwater contamination at the corner of Thames Avenue and OG Road at Klemzig.

The 22mg/L concentration of benzene a known carcinogen at the site was 73 times more than the recommended guideline value of 0.001-0.3mg/L.

The documents also revealed that, while there was no plan to inform the media about the contamination, “a statement will be ready to issue in the event that media interest arises.”

“Mr. Caica obviously took a leaf straight out of lame duck Premier Rann’s media handbook on how to avoid bad news 101.” Deputy Opposition Leader Mitch Williams said today.

“Instead of looking after the health and safety of South Australian families, Mr. Caica instead was looking after his own interests first.”

“However, the Liberal Opposition is glad Mr. Caica and the EPA has listened to our advice about disclosing important contamination information.” Mr. Williams said.

“The EPA has today issued a media statement disclosing that 300 homes and businesses at Glenelg East have been told to not use bore water due to contamination.”

“We now need the EPA to complete the job and fix its website to make it user friendly, allowing South Australians to readily access important information without having to pay a fee.”

“The worrying concern for South Australians is that Premier-in-waiting Jay Weatherill was most likely following the same ‘non-disclosure’ policy when he was Environment Minister.” Mr. Williams said.

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