Parker puts Orica spin over people of Stockton

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New documents reveal Environment Minister Robyn Parker was undergoing media training to help spin her story on the Orica toxic chemical leak – while Stockton residents were still waiting for answers on the leak of hexavalent chromium into their community.

This comes as the Minister announces an audit of major hazardous facilities around the State – 18 days after her department recommended an immediate audit take place.

“Environment Minister Robyn Parker has been more interested in protecting her own back than the people of Stockton,” Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley said.

“While the people of Stockton were calling for answers over Orica and the Environment Minister’s bungling of the chemical leak, Robyn Parker was having media training with John Mangos to try to spin herself out of trouble.

“The very questions Robyn Parker was being trained to answer demonstrate just how significant her mismanagement was – and her willingness to avoid scrutiny at any cost.

“This is confirmation the O’Farrell Government engaged in spin and deceit to cover up its appalling mismanagement of the Orica chemical leak.

“Barry O’Farrell has no choice but to stand Robyn Parker aside pending the result of the two inquiries into her handling of the toxic leak.”

Documents reveal Minister Parker had media training to help her deal with the following questions: Will the Minister confirm she sat on information for 54 hours? Does the Minister concede she could have told Stockton residents earlier that they were at risk? Will the Minister table her diary for 11 and 12 August so that Stockton residents can know what she did instead of letting them know their health was at risk? Why is the Minister refusing to let residents have their say by refusing to have public consultation as part of the review?

Mr Foley also said the Environment Minister’s announcement of an audit into major hazardous sites was 18 days overdue.

“Despite being told by the Office of Environment and Heritage to conduct an immediate environmental audit of major hazardous sites on August 25, Minister Parker has finally gotten around to it 18 days later,” Mr Foley said.

“While the NSW Opposition welcomes the audits, Minister Parker needs to be doing a lot more.

“The O’Farrell Government needs to implement community notification protocols that would apply to every major hazardous facility in NSW.”