Page 8348/8349 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Thursday, 31 October 2019
NYRSTAR CHEMICAL LEAKS
The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (14:46): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister advise the house if he was aware of the reported dead fish which resulted from the acid spillage at Nyrstar at Port Pirie in January this year. If so, who advised the minister? Who made the minister aware of the incident? Who did the minister advise, and who did he communicate it with?
The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:46): I thank the member for Frome for his question. Yes, I was aware that there were two dead trumpeters that were taken away for analysis. Those two trumpeters that were taken away were sent up to the Brisbane forensic science laboratories, and they showed no signs of heavy metal contamination. We have had ongoing monitoring since that time on whether there were any further impacts with that sulphuric acid leak.
What I would say is that the fisheries department and the EPA have worked together dealing with the issues there. As the Minister for Environment and Water said yesterday, he was only notified late in the piece. I was notified straight after the contamination. We took it very seriously. The fisheries inspectors weren’t able to assess any damage immediately after the leak due to the weather conditions. But once they were able to get there and assess the situation, they collected the fish. They took them away, they analysed them and they came back without any concern.