The West

Cristal plant concerns raised in Parliament
South West MLC Sally Talbot

Growing concerns regarding Cristal Global’s Australind plant raised its head in State Parliament last week.

South West MLC Sally Talbot questioned the company’s lease with the State Government which expired at the end of 2011 and is under negotiation.

Dr Talbot said there was a growing concern among Australind residents about the Australind plant.

‘‘It’s been growing now for a while but what’s cementing it is the thought that they might have to live with that particular site for another 25 years,’’ she said.

That sentiment was echoed by Harvey shire president Tania Jackson who said the council communicated with the company regularly to outline concerns from the community.

However Cristal Global HR manager Asia Pacific Bob Lowther said the company believed it had a good relationship with its neighbours.

Dr Talbot said residents were concerned about the impact of contamination at the site which had long been known to be polluted.

‘‘I think they expected a far more rigorous process to the monitoring now to alleviate some of those concerns they have,’’ she said.

She called on the State Government to recognise Harvey council’s request for a health risk assessment to be undertaken on the site.

The council made the request to the Department of Regional Development and Lands in May last year and included in the request a cut in the lease to 10 years and a consideration for traffic to be rerouted along Old Coast Road over the Collie Bridge away from the Australind townsite.

Mr Lowther said Cristal Global was unaware of the request for a health risk assessment to be undertaken and no one had ever communicated such a request to the company.

Ms Talbot said she was hoping there would be more serious consideration made of the requests.

‘‘It seems to me there’s been a couple of submissions made by residents and the shire,’’ she said.

Dr Talbot has asked further questions in the Upper House regarding environmental and traffic issues and State Government funding to Cristal Global.

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