Tasmanian Times


George River: it’s official

Alison Bleaney

Unfortunately, it’s official! From DPIW today(Fri) via a media release – figures on their website – all 12 sample bottles from the George River flood sampling program, 4 to 6 May 2007, contained metsulfuron-methyl. Water samples taken at the water intake pipe – you can’t actually get a more dilute raw water sample. The chances are it was still there from the contamination of 2 May. So, what are DPIW doing now for our kids, pregnant Mums, folk in hospital and the nursing home- and those on chemotherapy? Please don’t tell me they are disappointed with the results; this is frankly a disastrous PR exercise. What ‘risk’ are we managing here? Please see post on ‘Social Justice’- that also includes justice for our environment and our ecosystems:

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  1. alison bleaney

    May 29, 2007 at 12:20 am

    I am sure there is a new chapter for “Catch 22”
    in all of this!
    If the polluter cannot be identified, then there is no case. There is no need to notify water bodies or other departments when applying pesticides etc, and therefore no knowledge of post-application sampling test results; so when a water sample does happen to turn up at the bottom of a catchment – 3 to 6 weeks later – showing contamination from pesticides – with no identifying markers, then in the words of the Spray Drift Dept “this is going to be very difficult to trace where it might have come from”.
    And so ends the case. Next case? Same old, same old! And still no ability or willingness by BODC or State Govt to take a risk management approach to most water catchments, including the George River. The stakes are surely rising, is it more risky to ignore – head in sand – or acknowledge?

  2. Brenda Rosser

    May 28, 2007 at 1:55 am

    Legal advice from Susan Gunter (Tasmanian Environmental Defenders Office) in 1998:

    “It is an offence to pollute a water supply under s. 17 of the Police Offences Act. If anyone is
    causing a nuisance by contaminating a water supply council must issue them with an Abatement Notice under s. 200 of the Local Government Act ordering them to cease the polluting activity. Council has further powers under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 to issue an Environment Protection Notice against anyone contam-inating a water catchment.”

    What’s changed since then?

  3. skeet

    May 28, 2007 at 1:24 am

    Well, in my view the forestry companies should be the one’s receiving the writs…in the meantime, chin chin, as you say.

  4. crud

    May 27, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    as most of the pesticides etc are probably run off from forestry nothing of course will be done to rectify the problem.anyone who speaks up against it is likely to receive a writ from a well known forestry company,in the mean time,chin chin.

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