Environment Minister fails to act after toxic chemical leak in northern NSW waterways: Parker makes up scientific test results on the run

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Environment Minister Robyn Parker has failed to act after the toxic chemicals antimony and arsenic were leaked into the Macleay River – and local residents were warned not to drink the water.

"Dangerous levels of antimony and arsenic have leaked from the Straits Hillgrove Gold and Antimony Mine into the Macleay River and Bakers Creek since August," Shadow Environment Minister, Luke Foley said.

"The level of antimony in the Macleay River was found to be above the Australian drinking water guidelines and residents were warned not to drink water from nearby creeks, rivers or streams.

"Despite the fact she is responsible for water pollution and a media statement had been issued by her department, Robyn Parker first claimed she didn’t know about the contamination.

"The Minister then claimed that testing of dead fish floating in the Macleay River found that they were not related to the chemical spill.

"This has been contradicted by the Department of Primary Industries today, who have confirmed no testing has ever been carried out because the dead fish were so decomposed.

"Robyn Parker has clearly thrown the idea of a Ministerial duty of care out the window.

"Not content with her abysmal handling of the Orica chemical leak, the Minister has now taken to making up her own scientific research to use when it suits her.

"Robyn Parker's behaviour on this issue has been nothing short of disgraceful - once again the Environment Minister has let the community down following a serious toxic chemical leak.

"We need a community right to know protocol to ensure government provides communities affected by chemical leaks with immediate and accurate information.

"Robyn Parker has once again proved she is not up to the job of Environment Minister.

"The people of NSW need an Environment Minister who will protect the community."