Media Release - Embargoed Until 21st December 1998
David And Goliath Battle Taking Shape In The Hunter
"I don't want other mothers to go through what I've been through, with my daughter being lead poisoned and all. It's not right."
Kate Hayter is a courageous young mother who's finding out what it's like to deal with the authorities and Australia's largest lead mining and smelting company.
"They make $60 million profit every year yet they can't see their way clear to ensuring I get a safe house to live in that won't poison my daughter." Kate and her husband moved into their first home in 1995 knowing nothing about lead except that the 149 Certificate included a note that the lead level in soil at the new house was 2000 parts per million (ppm).
After her 10 month old daughter was found to have one of the highest blood lead levels in her age group, of all those children seen by the Newcastle paediatrician who deals with the problem, Kate started to ask questions and get informed. Through her extensive research, the world's leading experts advised Kate in writing, to move her daughter out of the house forever!!
Yet local authorities seem to have decided that the $6 million budget that's meant to lower blood lead levels in the area, could not be used to permanently relocate the family from what is arguably the most highly contaminated home yet discovered. Two years after purchasing the house, the soil lead level was found to be 82,000 ppm, 41 times the original assessment that appeared on the 149 Certificate. The second assessment was over 270 times the NSW EPA soil lead guideline of 300 ppm.
"The decision-making process for how the money is spent, is not based on scientific evidence, so I started the Hunter Branch of The LEAD Group because I know we can make a difference" says Kate.
Read about what Kate has done and a whole heap of other good news in the latest issue of LEAD Action News.
CONTACT: Kate Hayter, President, Hunter LEAD Group on mobile 0411 155 240
Or Elizabeth O'Brien, Coordinator, The LEAD Group on (02) 9716 0014. ###
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