LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 6 no 3, 1998, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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The following is the first newsletter published by Hunter LEAD Group Branch. Written by Jenny Morton.

Reprinted here with kind permission of the Publisher: Jenny Morton
Volume No.1 Issue No.1 Date 28/10/98

Who’s Who in the Zoo?

On October 14th 1998, the LEAD Group found it’s home in the Hunter. Founded by Ms Kate Hayter (President/Co-ordinator) is the Hunter LEAD Group Incorporated.

Mr Boris Naumovski, a local resident for many years, has of late, been interested in finding out about the damage that lead can cause. His lovely wife Alison is pregnant and the young couple plan to give their newborn the best start in life. Boris takes the place of Vice President, with Alison also taking on a membership despite her delicate position.

Ms Jenny Morton, a reasonably new resident to the area, has been helping Ms Hayter in her battle against Pasminco and the Environmental Health Centre from the very beginning. She takes on the position of Treasurer/Secretary. Her partner, Mr Michael Hawryluk has also taken on membership.

Mr David Holroyd is new to the scene but is a fast learner and keen to take on an active role along with his membership with the Hunter LEAD Group Incorporated.

Fundraiser Ideas

Kate has been extremely busy on the phone of late (so if you have been trying to contact her, you may have found it near impossible – just call in!!), in an attempt to raise sponsorship money to get the group up and running.

Success has been with World 4 Kids who have kindly donated a Sony Playstation.

Hardware House at Glendale has offered a $100 Power Tool as well.

The Hunter LEAD Group incorporated plans to raffle these items off to raise funds.

Dollar Video at Glendale has handed over 70 vouchers and The Lone Star has offered 4 free appetisers. These items will be dispersed among the 500 information bags we plan to hand out during our raffle on Friday 27th November outside Franklins at Glendale SupaCentre.

Other Sponsors

The Hunter LEAD Group Incorporated wishes also to thank:

  • K-Mart for the donation of T-shirts to all current group members, we plan to have them printed with the logo and name.

  • Zulu Printing who printed our fashion statement black shirts free of charge

  • We have been issued with Hunter LEAD Group badges. They look very professional in black and white, from Sid Cohen Rubber Stamps.

  • Affordable Printing are planning to issue us with business cards to leave around the local area and hand out as required, by Mr. Ron Barnes.

  • D.P.R. Printing are kindly donating stickers for us to place in our information bags. We are however, in need of somebody to donate printed bags for us to fill with our information and goodies to hand out to the general public.

  • Glendale Post Office has given us our very own Post Office Box free of charge. Without this our privacy may have been at risk along with the privacy of our clients, as some individuals in the area can get rather irate when it comes down to it!!

Other freebies we have not yet decided what we should do with are:

  • Grand Hotel – dinner for 2

  • Kent Hotel – bistro meal valued at $30

  • Bayside Tavern – dinner for 2

  • Northern Star Hotel – dinner for 2

The Hunter LEAD Group Incorporated has approached Pasminco for some form of sponsorship. We believe that since they are a major lead source in the area that they should provide something to the new local lead group. Hopefully they will find enough compassion for the children of the Hunter to respond to our request. [Sponsorship has since been refused.]

WE BELIEVE THAT WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.!!!

Fruits of Recent Work of the Lead Advisory Service at Boolaroo

Elizabeth O’Brien, Manager of the Lead Advisory Service (LAS), has encouraged Kate Hayter (mentioned above) in the use of manifesting her vision of a safe house and a healthy child. Elizabeth has given many referrals to Kate including to world lead authorities, some of whom have already replied to Kate’s request for guidance on whether to move back into her house should it be remediated. The NSW Ombudsman is now investigating her case as well as other complaints received from the area in the past 3 years. The Environmental Defender’s Office is interested in the contamination of houses and the lake around the Pasminco smelter. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre is also looking into whether several other cases should be pursued. Kate has also involved mediators and a conflict manager from the Newcastle Community Justice Centre at the suggestion of Theresa Gordon of NO-LEAD. With the promotion at Glendale SupaCentre, at least 20 locals who asked Kate for information were referred to the Lead Advisory Service.

Through regular attendance of the six weekly public meetings of the North Lake Macquarie Environmental Health Liaison Meeting, and through constant interaction with locals by telephone, Lead Advisory Service (LAS) staff have helped to bring about the following improvements to the Liaison Meetings:-

  1. Robin Mosman’s suggestion that Pasminco should present quarterly reports to the Liaison Meetings has been accepted and so far 2-3 reports have been given. Elizabeth O’Brien’s suggestion that the main points from each report be photocopied and distributed at the meetings, was accepted at the meeting of 18-11-98;

  2. Elizabeth’s suggestion to have a Register of Questions and Answers coming out of Liaison Meetings, has been taken up with a vengeance by the local residents who are now contributing the sorts of questions we used to compile from phone calls between meetings and notes taken at the meetings. Two copies of the Register of Questions and Answers have been provided by LAS, for local people to gain access to the Register, at both the Neighbourhood Centre and the local library. The Lake Macquarie Council will add the Register to its website for even wider access to the public and ease of searching the growing lists of important answers to questions, some of which had been unanswered for many years. The new chair of the meetings, Val Koglan-West, was so taken with the Register that she suggested that the most common questions be copied and bound into a booklet and given to new attendees of the Liaison Meetings (which are held every 6 weeks and are open to the public);

  3. Michelle Calvert assisted in writing draft Terms of Reference for the Liaison Meetings and these will be on the agenda of the first Liaison meeting next year (6:30 pm on 27/1/99 at Lake Macquarie Council Chambers).

Pasminco Reports $63.3 Million Profit for FY 1997-8

Thanks to the generous donation of a copy of the Pasminco Annual Report 1998, by a shareholder, we can pass on that Pasminco’s Vision is "to be the best from mine to market through performance, quality and respect", with the financial objective being to "Sustain profitability at all points in the metal cycle". The $63.3 million profit was marginally down on the $64.7 million profit made in FY 1996-7. Environmental objectives include to "Minimise our imp-act on the environment" and "Build community confidence in our operations" (including sponsorship).

One of the main environmental issues reported to shareholders was sulphur dioxide emissions exceedences at Cockle Creek smelter at Boolaroo, in contravention of consent conditions on the smelter upgrade imposed by the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning. Another environmental issue reported was the exceedence of lead in air levels at the boundary of the ARA secondary lead smelter in Melbourne. Interestingly, the Annual Report 1997/98 of the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (VEPA), claims "zero breaches of SEPP [state environment protection policy] objectives for lead". Though VEPA does admit to a "lack of an adequate information base on air toxics".

Huge Pasminco Salary Packages

While the Pasminco Cockle Creek smelter finds itself unable to make any donation to Hunter LEAD Group, or to buy up the contaminated properties of lead poisoned kids (See "Getting a Child out of Prison – Will Industry Help?" in a previous LEAD Action News), they do pay huge salary packages.

According to the Pasminco Annual Report 1998, Pasminco’s Managing Director received a total salary package of $769,646 last financial year, with the director of mining receiving $414,664 and the Australian Smelting Executive General Manager, $338,652. The top figure paid to a director of the Board was $106,000 – this sum alone is enough to buy up two small houses in Boolaroo!

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Last Updated 26 February 2013
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