|LEAD Action News vol 11 Number 2, December
2010, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times (ISSN 1440-4966) & Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Guest Editor, Dr Chrissie Pickin. Editor-in-Chief: Anne Roberts
Introduction by the Guest Editor Dr Chrissie Pickin
By Dr Chrissie Pickin, Deputy Director of Public Health, Tasmania
This newsletter is the response of the Rosebery Community Reference Group to LEAD Action Newsletter vol 10, no.4, which was largely written by members of the Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania (THMTT).
It’s about Rosebery, a small mining town on the west coast of beautiful Tasmania, Australia, and explores the Community Reference Group response to claims of heavy metal poisoning by a small group of residents. The previous newsletter vol 10, no 4 was very critical of that response but provided only one side of the story. I, as lead of the original project team exploring the small number of residents’ claims, was offered and accepted the right of reply in newsletter no.11 which I took up (ref) but the broader Community Reference Group in Rosebery wanted their right of reply also. So we asked that we be afforded the same privileges as the Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce- that of writing and guest editing a whole newsletter. The LEAD Group agreed to this, for which we are grateful.
The Community Reference Group includes local community members, the local council Mayor, the Australian Workers Union; the mine owners MMG; the local community health provider, the Public and Environmental Health Service and the Environmental Protection Authority- most of whom have written or contributed articles to this newsletter.
The interest we share with The LEAD Group and MMG and the community, is in a happy and healthy community in Rosebery. That is important to the mine owners as they need healthy and productive workers. Health is important to the local community, the unions and council obviously. It is important to the EPA, the health services and the Public & Environmental Health Service because it is our job- one we take seriously and believe in. We believe we have made much progress towards ensuring the health of the local community. There is further to go and we – the community, the unions, the mine and government are committed to working together to achieve it. This newsletter is testament to that.
We have not let the threat of legal action against some of the parties to the Community Reference Group stop us telling the other side of this fascinating story. The articles correct misinformation, explain how Rosebery community and stakeholders have responded to this and puts the situation in context- how Rosebery compares to other mining and non- mining towns in Australia and what an amazing place it is to visit. We raise a number of areas where improvement needs to happen nationally- notably the exposure levels of miners themselves. We believe that the LEAD Group could more usefully focus its attention on these areas rather than continually supporting a campaign group for which the evidence strongly refutes their claims.
I hope you enjoy the newsletter and that one day you come and visit our beautiful State and the West Coast town of Rosebery.
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Updated 24 January 2012