How Mercury is reporting it:

PHILIPPA DUNCAN

February 27, 2010 08:36am

THE great water scare is tearing the St Helens community apart.

A backlash is mounting against Dr Alison Bleaney for her role in putting St Helens on the national map as the town with toxic drinking water.

Break O’Day Mayor Robert Legge yesterday revealed a glimpse of the tension simmering in the idyllic coastal community.

“It’s absolutely criminal what she has done,” he said.

“We’re losing business. I am very concerned for the municipality. This could be detrimental to the entire state.”

Cr Legge was critical of Dr Bleaney for withholding some of the scientific test results referred to on Australian Story on ABC-TV.

“If she has got the facts she should state them. If she hasn’t, then she should shut up,” he said.

Public health director Roscoe Taylor confirmed all the test results had not been handed over.

“I do have some concerns about delays in obtaining all of the scientific test results,” Dr Taylor said.

“I would have expected that if there was a strong belief that a public health risk exists there is an obligation to provide all of the information for further evaluation to better inform a public health

response.”

Dr Bleaney said the council had ignored the water problem for years and Cr Legge was shooting the messenger.

“I am not withholding information. I have a responsibility as a human being and as a doctor to ensure people have access to safe drinking water,” she said.

HERE: Water woe town divided