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Andrea Dawkins

Rosebery Water Not to Standard

Parliamentary Activity - Wednesday, 9 March 2016, Andrea Dawkins


That this House notes:

1.      The ongoing problems associated with the water supply in the town of Rosebery;

2.      That as recently as last week residents of Rosebery have reported dirty and brown drinking and bathing water running from their taps and sinks;

3.      That after airing these concerns publicly and directly to TasWater, residents of Rosebery were assured the water supply is not contaminated and that, rather, the recent rainfall has caused the water to run brown from the Stitt River;

4.      That despite recent assurances, the issue with Rosebery’s water quality has been queried publicly since the year 2000 when Alberton Consulting, along with then Greens Member for Braddon Di Hollister, produced a report titled Health Needs Assessment of the Communities of Rosebery, Zeehan and Tullah, which highlighted the unusually high rates of cancer in the area;

5.      That in 2008 the Department of Health and Human Services conducted toxicology testing after two residents of Rosebery called for an investigation into the presence of heavy metals in their water supply;

6.      That the findings of that investigation were contentious with allegations the DHHS did not undertake adequate testing of residents and the ground water supply, and that ultimately several other residents came on board to lobby the Director of Public Health to dismiss the report and conduct a further investigation;

7.      That the Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania were also highly critical of the 2008 investigation and report from the Department;

8.      That in 2013 Cradle Mountain Water was forced to acknowledge the presence of lead found in the drinking water at Rosebery;

9.      That TasWater commenced a $15 million project in October 2014 to upgrade water and sewerage services in Rosebery, as well as a new water and sewerage treatment plant and upgraded infrastructure;

10. That now, a year and half on, and despite assurances the projects would be completed in the second half of 2015, the town of Rosebery still does not have access to water that meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines; and

11. Further, that this House:

a.      Calls on the Minister for Water, Jeremy Rockliff MP, in conjunction with the Minister for Health, Michael Ferguson MP,  to urgently undertake investigations into the quality of the drinking water in Rosebery and to ensure that regular testing, and real time data reporting, is completed;

b.      Calls on Local Government Minister, Peter Gutwein MP, to immediately act and make enquiries as to the current status of TasWater’s upgrade to the water and sewerage infrastructure at Rosebery, including the water treatment plant; and

c.      Notes the ‘brighter future’ slogan has not provided the Government with the policy substance required to deal with the real world challenges of governing.

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