Two people hospitalised after Orica leak - community again not warned

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The O’Farrell Government has failed to warn Stockton and Mayfield residents that two people were hospitalised following the Orica chemical leak yesterday – which discharged 900 kilograms of ammonia into the atmosphere.

Between 2.15 and 3.38pm yesterday, three chemical leaks released 900 kilograms of ammonia into the atmosphere from the Orica chemical plant.

“The O’Farrell Government has failed the people of the Hunter again and refused to inform them of the public health risk following a 900 kilogram ammonia leak from the Orica chemical plant,” Shadow Environment Minister, Luke Foley said.

"The O'Farrell Government needs to explain how two people were hospitalised because of fumes from the most recent Orica leak, and yet it still didn’t inform the community.

“We know that HAZMAT, NSW Fire Brigades and the Environment Protection Authority have all been at the scene. Why then has the O’Farrell Government not provided any information to the community?

“Yesterday, government agencies said there was no health risk to local residents – despite the fact two people had been hospitalised with breathing difficulties that authorities attributed to the ammonia leak.

"Environment Minister Robyn Parker has clearly not learnt from the Orica chemical leak in August and has once again failed to provide any information to residents. “It is almost unbelievable that the O’Farrell Government has failed to warn Mayfield and Stockton residents of a public health threat again.

“People have been hospitalised with breathing difficulties because ammonia has been released into the atmosphere and no O’Farrell Government minister has made a statement.

“Robyn Parker and the entire O’Farrell Government have failed in their duty of care to the people of Mayfield and Stockton.

“The O’Farrell Government waited 54 hours before informing the public about the release of hexavalent chromium from the Orica plant in August, now they are failing to inform residents of the latest leak from Orica when two people have already been hospitalised.”