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Wednesday, 6 May 1987
Page: 2760

(Question No. 5221)


Mr Maher asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 20 March 1987:

(1) Is he able to say what areas of the Electoral Division of Lowe are contaminated by dioxin.

(2) What enquiries have been made concerning the dumping of dioxin in tips and in mangrove reclamation areas on Majors Bay, Hen and Chicken Bay, Homebush Bay and elsewhere.

(3) What action is being taken to ensure public safety with respect to buried quantities of dioxin.


Mr Cohen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) to (3) I am aware of recent media attention upon several sites in Sydney at which dioxin contaminated wastes were disposed a number of years ago.

Regulation of hazardous wastes and disposal sites is primarily the responsibility of State Governments. Enquiries for specific information concerning dioxin wastes in Sydney should be directed to the New South Wales Minister for Planning and Environment or the State Pollution Control Commission (SPCC).

The SPCC published in February 1986 a report ``Assessment of dioxin-contaminated waste materials'' which identifies landfill disposal sites at Homebush Bay, Concord and Menai where disposal of these wastes took place and provides information on such matters as the origin and quantities of the dioxin wastes and appropriate safeguards for the disposal sites.

I understand that the New South Wales authorities are also investigating claims that the site of the Union Carbide plant at Rhodes is contaminated by dioxin wastes. I also understand that further investigations of the Rhodes site are to be made by experts from the USA and the United Kingdom.

The SPCC issued in 1986 a Chemical Control Order in relation to dioxin-contaminated waste materials.