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Air testing to be reviewed post Mitchell Fire, but why was the poison here?

By johnboy - 1 October 2011 15

mitchell fire

Simon Corbell has announced continuing fallout from the Mitchell Fire, this time a review of testing procedures:

Mr Corbell said the independent expert, who would have experience in toxicology with a focus on environmental containments including PCBs and dioxins, would review the government’s chemical contamination testing results and provide advice to the government on long-term monitoring regime, which would include substantial testing of dioxins.

“The review will involve a full assessment of the efficacy of the testing that the ACT Government carried out during and after the Mitchell fire,” Mr Corbell said.

“It would also give absolute assurance to the government and the community that our testing regime was adequate.”

Mr Corbell said if the review found any issues with the ACT’s testing regime, he wanted to know about them. “The government is open to the results of all the investigations and reviews that are being carried out as a result of the Mitchell fire,” he said.

Not sure why he needs a review if he already knows it’s going to provide “absolute assurance”.

While we’re launching inquiries is it too much to ask for one into what other businesses have scented the blood in the water and are shipping poison into Canberra thanks to our incompetent lax regulatory environment?

[Photo by John Lafferty]

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15 Responses to
Air testing to be reviewed post Mitchell Fire, but why was the poison here?
GardeningGirl 6:52 pm 10 Mar 12

First the air, now the water. The site has been cleaned up hasn’t it, are they just being super cautious now?
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/mitchell-chemical-runoff-concerns-20120309-1uq74.html

I-filed 6:43 pm 03 Oct 11

What I wanna know is, is Simon “Mini Bhopal” Corbell getting the Mully Award? Come on JB, we’re into October!

sepi 5:44 pm 03 Oct 11

Safeguards in other cities in Australia are better than ours. Even Muswellbrook would be a better comparison than the third world.

ACT has slack regulations around toxic chemicals close to residential areas, and with this fire we all suffered the consequences.

I’m really suprised there isn’t more concern about the possible damage that has been done.

captainwhorebags 5:11 pm 03 Oct 11

miz said :

I for one would be prepared to lobby to keep such toxic operations out. Canberra is supposed to be clean and pristine.

Since the Mitchell fire, I hope that the usual suspects continually casting aspersions on NIMBYs (eg people living near proposed power station) have now pulled their collective head in. I expect that most residents of Gungahlin have suddenly realised they too are actually NIMBYs – my view is that it is a bloody good thing to be a NIMBY as it shows you care enough about where you live to want some say as to what gets dumped in your area.

Wait, you want to continue to live a life with all the modern conveniences, but would prefer that the nasty side effects are dealt with by someone else, somewhere else?

IMHO, this is the problem with NIMBYism – not that people take issue with potential/real pollution, but that the NIMBY is happy to reap the rewards of modern industrial processes yet would rather the negative outcomes are inflicted elsewhere. It’s great to have a reliable power supply as long as Muswellbrook and Morwell keep wearing the cost of it.

These industrial incidents have the potential to be very very nasty, but the safeguards and laws around the processes are far more rigorous here than they are in the third world. That doesn’t matter though – a NIMBY is all about “my backyard”. Too bad about yours.

Thumper 5:44 pm 02 Oct 11

Considering this smoke has been rated as non-toxic and everything is rosy there seems to be a lot of work going into cleaning up the Flemington Pond in Mitchell…

A lot of water was put on that fire. It has to go somewhere and when it does it takes pretty much everything with it, ie, oil, fuel, fire retardant foam, whatever happened to be on the ground.

Thus the clean up.

Felix the Cat 2:52 pm 02 Oct 11

Considering this smoke has been rated as non-toxic and everything is rosy there seems to be a lot of work going into cleaning up the Flemington Pond in Mitchell…

miz 10:26 am 02 Oct 11

I don’t think it is too much to ask, JB. I think there should be a complete audit of all businesses operating in Canberra, particularly Hume, Fyshwick and Mitchell, so that Canberrans know what poisons and related risks are actually in our city. I for one would be prepared to lobby to keep such toxic operations out. Canberra is supposed to be clean and pristine.

Since the Mitchell fire, I hope that the usual suspects continually casting aspersions on NIMBYs (eg people living near proposed power station) have now pulled their collective head in. I expect that most residents of Gungahlin have suddenly realised they too are actually NIMBYs – my view is that it is a bloody good thing to be a NIMBY as it shows you care enough about where you live to want some say as to what gets dumped in your area.

creative_canberran 1:27 am 02 Oct 11

facet said :

Wana bet the outcome of a “review” is just like the bridge collapse “no-one found to be to blame”.
Glad they paid $400,000 on a “bomb” truck, I feel so much safer now.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middle with the ACT Gov.

Get your facts straight,

The bridge review found several people to blame.

The Lenco Bearcat was one of three purchased by the Commonwealth Government. One was given to the AFP to be based in Canberra, the other two were handed over to NT and SA Police.

It’s an armoured vehicle used for insertion and rescue, and if you recall the tragic police shooting in New Zealand a while back, you’ll know why they’re needed.

facet 12:43 am 02 Oct 11

Wana bet the outcome of a “review” is just like the bridge collapse “no-one found to be to blame”.
Glad they paid $400,000 on a “bomb” truck, I feel so much safer now.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middle with the ACT Gov.

I-filed 6:46 pm 01 Oct 11

Mully Award goes to Simon Corbell for September, surely ….

Little_Green_Bag 5:45 pm 01 Oct 11

No thunder, no fire, no brains . . .

harryhaller 5:19 pm 01 Oct 11

“It would also give absolute assurance to the government and the community that our testing regime was adequate.” I’d be very surprised if that was, indeed, an outcome of this inquiry. According to articles, I have read in the CT about the fire, the atmospheric tests, upon which government representatives declared there was no danger to the public from the chemical fire, were mainly sensitive to substances that would normally be contained in a wood fire, pesticides, ozone, etc. The highly toxic substances contained in the Mitchell fire, namely dioxins, according to said article seem not to have been tested for. So I wonder how S.C. expects confirmation of the gov’s testing regime?

I-filed 2:20 pm 01 Oct 11

It is actually quite possibly lucky for Canberra that this happened before more companies took advantage of the ACT’s slack regulatory environment.

Simon “mini Bhopal” Corbell appears to have finally sniffed the wind and discovered there are toxins in it for the ALP thanks to his incompetence.

Gungahlin Al 1:02 pm 01 Oct 11

I think he already said something about reviewing the town planning and the existing EPA permits didn’t he? Both of which I think have to be done given this experience…

krats 10:56 am 01 Oct 11

Simon say’s,,,

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