Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Esperance ‘silent summer’ fallout

Following my last post on the deaths around Esperance, Western Australia, of at least 4,000 birds — mainly lorikeets, miners and wattle birds — there have been further developments.

An Esperance Shire councillor called for the sackings of the board and chief executive of the Esperance Port Authority.

Soon afterwards, Shire president and director of the port authority board, Ian Mickel, stepped down “to avoid a conflict of interest between his two roles”.

The Maritime Union, representing workers at the Esperance port facility, said that concerns about lead were raised with management and government agencies soon after the metal began arriving.


A group of Esperance residents has called for stronger action on the issue from the shire council. Esperance Ratepayers and Electors Association president Dale Piercey said the council should be lobbying the state Government to ensure the community was safe. ...

In response to the autopsy findings, Health Department spokesman Jim Dodds said there was no evidence to suggest the general population had been exposed to a health risk.

However, late last week blood testing of residents found an eight-month-old baby and six adults had lead levels above the World Health Organisation’s guidelines.

Now in the latest development,

Esperance residents are facing another possible environmental scare with white blotches appearing on roofs and plants around the West Australian port town. ...

Esperance Ratepayers and Electors Association president Dale Piercey said a Department of Environment and Conservation representative had suggested sending samples to Perth for testing.

“White blotches” on roofs? Maybe the birds are back...?


More here:

Western Australia’s Health Department will contact 12 Esperance residents after their blood showed up higher than recommended levels of lead.

Ten adults and two children under five have recorded lead levels above the World Health Organisation guideline of 10 micrograms per decilitre in the town in southern WA.

More than 900 Esperance residents have now been tested.

The department’s director of environmental health, Jim Dodds, says no clear patterns have emerged but another 1,000 tests are expected to be conducted over the next 10 days. ...


Good grief!! — there’s a Brian Burke connection??


Post a Comment

<< Home