LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News vol 11 Number 3, June 2011, 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.
Editor: Anne Roberts

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A critique of some of those involved in the dispute about Rosebery

By Kay Seltitzas and Isla MacGregor, Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania (THMTT

Yossi Berger Sitting on the fence (on one side) (See article in Lanv11n2)

Yossi Berger's contribution to the LAN v11n2 provides some interesting insights into the role of the Australian Workers Union and their views of the position taken by those individuals poisoned by heavy metals or working with the THMTT. On several occasions THMTT contacted the AWU to make an appointment to meet and provide documents. On 15th November 2010, Yossi Berger and Ian Wakefield finally agreed to a meeting in Hobart. The THMTT wanted to discuss at this meeting some critical issues and offered important documents to Yossi Berger. He refused to discuss any matters of substance and also refused to take the documents. It appeared that the sole purpose for the AWU of attending this meeting with reps from THMTT was to attempt to encourage representation by the THMTT on the Rosebery Technical Advisory Group. A similar invitation had been given to the THMTT to sit on the Rosebery Community Reference Group with the condition of confidentiality. Both these offers had been refused. Clearly the most important function of a Mediator is to get both parties to the table and obviously Yossi Berger had failed. It would have been very useful for the AWU to make the time to apprise themselves of the reasons why this involvement could not occur, based on the experiences of people who had been treated so inhumanely by the DHHS and West Coast Council. Yossi Berger refers to the need for people in THMTT to discuss their 'suspicions'. THMTT views are not 'suspicions,' and for Yossi Berger to use the language of spin has provided no sense of confidence in those he wishes to 'engage'. Not a good look for the principle role of a Mediator in the 'Community Engagement' process on such serious health issues that impact on family members of his unions workers.

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