Orica report fails to scrutinise 54 hour delay in informing residents


Today's Orica report has failed to scrutinise the O'Farrell Government's 54 hour delay in informing the community of the toxic chemical leak into Stockton, Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley said today.

"The O'Farrell Government barred Brendan O'Reilly from investigating besieged Environment Minister Robyn Parker," Mr Foley said.

"This is a predictable report that tells us what we already know – Orica took 16 hours to inform the Government.

"What the Orica report fails to explain is why the O'Farrell Government failed to alert Stockton residents for a further 54 hours.

"This report was never going to get to the bottom of the Orica chemical leak because Brendan O'Reilly was barred from investigating Environment Minister Robyn Parker.

"Brendan O'Reilly's hands were tied – Environment Minister Robyn Parker's office wrote the terms of reference for an inquiry that was supposed to scrutinise her actions.

"If Orica's 16 hour delay is unacceptable, why is the Government's 54 hour delay not worthy of investigation?

"This report reveals the O'Farrell Government is willing to go to any length to avoid scrutiny over its mishandling of the Orica chemical leak."

Mr Foley said the O'Farrell Government's proposed community right to know protocols did not go far enough.

"Community right to know protocols should publically release the type and amount of toxic chemicals being used near residential neighbourhoods and allow community participation in emergency planning for chemical leaks," Mr Foley said.

"The O'Farrell Government should have informed the Stockton community as soon as it knew about the health risks following the Stockton chemical leak.

"The parliamentary inquiry will get to the bottom of the Orica leak and fully investigate why the O'Farrell Government sat on health warnings for 54 hours.

"Our parliamentary inquiry will call the Premier, Environment Minister and Health Minister to finally get some real answers for the people of Stockton."