Labor forces Upper House inquiry into Orica chemical leak cover up

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The NSW Labor Opposition has today forced an Upper House inquiry into the Orica hexavalent chromium leak – to investigate why it took Orica 16 hours and the O'Farrell Government 54 hours to warn Stockton residents of potential health risks.

"The NSW Labor Opposition has forced an inquiry to finally uncover the truth about Orica and the O'Farrell Government's abysmal handling of the hexavalent chromium leak," NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson said.

"This inquiry will investigate why it took Orica 16 hours to inform the Government and why it took a further 54 hours for the Government to tell Stockton residents about the toxic chemical leak.

"Labor expects that Premier O'Farrell will offer himself and relevant Ministers to appear before the inquiry.

"Brendan O'Reilly is a respected public servant, but the O'Farrell Government has narrowed the scope of his review to shield Environment Minister Robyn Parker from proper scrutiny.

"The Legislative Council inquiry will hold public hearings open to all – including the residents of Stockton."

Shadow Minister Luke Foley said the Legislative Council inquiry would finally force Environment Minister Robyn Parker to come clean on what she knew about the Orica chemical leak and when she knew it.

"This inquiry will finally reveal the truth about what the Environment Minister knew of the health risks associated with the Orica chemical leak and when," Mr Foley said.

"The people of Stockton deserve answers – this inquiry will finally help uncover them."