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Toxins linger beyond the picket fence

From left: Breakfast Point residents Greg McGrath and Don McKenzie said the plans to remediate the bay do not go far enough; the remediation site from 2006, where investigations found
toxins up to 200m from the shoreline; a map of Jemena’s proposed remediation site, which shows only a part of the original site and extends about 68m.

By Lauren Farrow aromatic hydrocarbons and total pe- from Jemena, contaminated sedi- walking away with a regularity that
The State Government is letting troleum hydrocarbons in the bay. ments further from the shore were would make you cry,” she said.
polluters walk away from almost a Some of these are known human covered by a “variable depth of clean What do you think? Should in-
century of environmental damage carcinogens and have caused ex- sediment” and did not pose a signifi- dustry be forced to clean up the bay?
at Kendall Bay, according to treme environmental harm. cant human health risk. Tell us at www.villagevoice.com.au
environmental experts and residents, Due to these findings, in 2004, However, Dr Mariann Lloyd-
who say clean up plans fall short. the Environment Protection Agency Smith, senior adviser to the National
Since the 1880s heavy industry (EPA) ordered AGL to clean up the Toxics Network of Australia, said WHAT ABOUT THE MARINA?
dominated the foreshore at Kendall bay. Within this order was a reme- this was just an argument used to Breakfast Point Pty Ltd’s
Bay, with workers at AGL’s former diation site stretching 200m from avoid hefty clean-up costs. controversial plans for a 177-berth
gasworks site heaving large bags of the shore. In 2002, it cost AGL $70 million commercial marina at Kendall
coal up and down the wharfs to burn. But Jemena, formerly part of to complete the remediation of the Bay is facing rocky conditions, if
Although these gasworks have AGL, recently released its remedia- land at Breakfast Point, with sedi- proposed remediation work in the
been replaced by the white picket tion plan, which only includes two ments even more expensive to clean bay goes ahead as planned.
fences of the up-market residential small sections of the bay, extending up, Dr Lloyd-Smith said. A spokeswoman from the
development Breakfast Point, the ef- about 68m. “Obviously, industry doesn’t want Department of Environment and
fects of the industry remain. “As residents, our concern is that to pay for this and so make argu- Climate Change said contaminated
Breakfast Point resident Don the area is polluted and they are ments to get around it. The EPA and sediments can remain in the bay
McKenzie said it was common to going to leave known toxins in the the DECC are completely complicit but are under a “do not disturb’’
smell petrol-like chemicals and see bay,” Breakfast Point resident Greg in the industry approach,” Dr Lloyd- order, which means no dredging
lumps of coal washing up on the McGrath said. “These can wash up Smith said. or building of any sort. Breakfast
bay’s shore. It’s a story that is backed and down the river, and onto places “It’s an issue that I have been Point Pty Ltd did not respond to the
up by decades of toxicology reports were people wade or swim.” dealing with for the past 30 years. Village Voice’s questions.
that show high levels of polycyclic But according to a spokesman Companies have been polluting and

4 VILLAGE VOICE DRUMMOYNE March