Communist Party candidate in the by-election for Port Adelaide, Bob Briton, today expressed concern over the recent spill of uranium and copper concentrate
into the Edith River in the Northern Territory following a train derailment. An exemption from the SA government’s SafeWork department allowed the toxic material to be transported from Oz Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine in wagons covered only by tarpaulins rather than in the sealed containers normally required.
“The government and SafeWork SA stand condemned over this incident. The rules were bent to allow the greatest profits to flow to the already profit-gorged resource sector,” Mr. Briton said.
“The concern for people of Port Adelaide is that, with exports of hazardous material out of the Port set to increase sharply over the next few years, any accident could seriously threaten the environment and the health of thousands of residents,” he said.
“The government needs to explain itself. It has to demonstrate how the increase in exports of uranium and other hazardous materials out of Port Adelaide can be reconciled with plans for developers to build many new homes around the inner Port,” said Mr. Briton.
“What plans are in place to deal with an emergency presented by the spilling of uranium and copper concentrate, for example, in the district or into the Port River?”
“What assurances can the government give that it won’t grant further exemptions from safety regulations to favour mining sector companies?” he asked.
Labels: bob briton, oz minerals, port adelaide, prominent hill, safe work