Tasmanian Times


Taskforce Warns Rosebery Residents

“Rosebery Residents deliver their Pamphlet with governments recommendations to the department of health”

Since the release of the Government’s Final Report into heavy metal contamination in Rosebery several residents from Rosebery have undergone medical tests and been diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning.

Marsha Stejskal, Spokesperson for the newly formed network Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania ( The Taskforce) today said: “Four seriously ill residents have now left their contaminated properties in Rosebery and found accommodation away from the West Coast.”

“We decided we needed to warn residents of the health risks of living in Rosebery by producing a pamphlet – Reducing Your Exposure to Heavy Metals in Rosebery. This weekend our pamphlet has been letterboxed to residents in Rosebery and to other towns on the West Coast of Tasmania.”

“The Government and West Coast Council have failed in their duty of care to provide this critical risk information to all residents of Rosebery. Contained in the Government’s Final Report are sixteen precautionary measures recommended for residents to reduce their exposure from heavy metals and we have included these in our pamphlet.

“Since the release of the Final Report in April this year this information has not been distributed to the Rosebery community who are vulnerable and exposed to heavy metal poisoning. Our pamphlet gives nine additional measures to those outlined in the Oz Mineral’s pamphlet What you should know about Lead distributed in October

“In June 2009 The Minister for Health Lara Giddings opened the $800,000 Rosebery Community Health Centre Redevelopment upgrade. Deplorably the Minister’s statement on the Centre’s “increased emphasis on health promotion and management of chronic disease” failed to identify the need for greater awareness and action on health issues around heavy metal contamination.”

“The West Coast Council’s 2009/2010 Annual Plan Creating A Dynamic West Coast commits “to increase public awareness and participation in public health initiatives..” but also failed to promote public awareness on heavy metal poisoning.”

“We believe that there are many more people in Rosebery suffering from the effects of heavy metal poisoning, particularly arsenic and lead.”

“In collaboration with an Independent Environmental Scientist our Taskforce has produced a detailed critique of the methodology of the environmental investigation undertaken for the Rosebery investigation. We maintain that the Government’s investigation in Rosebery was greatly restricted in its scope, used inappropriate benchmarks and produced flawed conclusions.

“The Government has no right to play with science when peoples lives are at risk.”

“ We will be calling on the Government to establish an independent population based public and environmental health investigation on heavy metal contamination in Rosebery and we will take our issue to the state election next year.”

“We have established a Heavy Metals Public Awareness Hotline on Tel 62 655 776 for people concerned about heavy metal contamination in Rosebery. We have also been asked by one family including a three month old baby who are all very ill from heavy metal poisoning, to put a call out for help for alternative accommodation.”

“Our medical reports are now with lawyers and we are waiting on legal advice” said Marsha Stejskal.


Image, from: HERE
Taskforce Critique on Rosebery Investigation.pdf

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  1. Concerned Resident

    November 10, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Steve, do you really think that the gov’t would do anything?? I don’t think so…if it is a big corporation causing this problem…you can almost bet they will cover it up.
    I think this is an example of what we, in the Tamar Valley, will have with the filthy pulp mill.

  2. Alison Bleaney

    November 10, 2009 at 10:57 am

    At the end of the day, the Government’s Departments including Public Health have known of the mining operations at Roseberry and surrounding areas since they started. Good operational strategies include appropriate awareness and actual knowledge of the potential for any adverse impacts (human and environmental)that such activities may produce. Facts and figures from previous years will show whether the Government has had a firm handle on these issues.
    If not, why not? Who is actually responsible for providing safe living environments for the general public next to heavy industries or at least warning residents and potential residents of the dangers? The present ‘preventative health strategy’ mantra is ‘exposure reduction’. Who has the duty of care to ensure that all ‘exposed’ are told of how to do this and follow-up strategies are put in place? And how can folk protect themselves in a knowledge vaccuum?
    I take my hat off to this group, a lot of really hard work has been done and obviously more to go.
    Dr Alison Bleaney

  3. david

    November 10, 2009 at 10:10 am


  4. Steve

    November 9, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Heaven forbid that the government might actually do the decent thing and grasp the nettle on these types of issues!

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