The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has welcomed today’s announcement by the State
government of an audit of more than 40 potentially toxic industrial sites in Sydney, Newcastle and
A close examination of risk management and emergency response procedures at sites including the
Orica facility at Matraville and refineries at Rose Hill and a commitment to stricter pollution licence
controls is an important step towards cleaning up pollution in NSW.
“The community deserves the truth about the pollution incidents at Orica and whether they are at risk
from other toxic accidents waiting to happen,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW CEO Pepe Clarke
“Right across NSW, there are industrial facilities operating in close proximity to communities, waterways
and sensitive natural areas and we must have complete confidence in the systems and monitoring
meant to keep us safe.
“The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for monitoring and enforcing thousands of
pollution licences across the state. The audit of 40 industrial sites in our largest industrial centres must
be the start of a long‐term program to reduce the risk of pollution accidents and systematically reduce
the amount of industrial pollution released into air and water.
“The Parliamentary Inquiry into the Orica pollution incidents must examine whether the EPA has the
legal tools, financial resources and political support it needs to manage and reduce pollution risk. In our
view, the EPA budget will need to be increased substantially for it to fully fulfil its role as an effective
environmental watchdog, but not at the expense of other environmental programs.
“We all have the right to know about the health and environmental effects of pollution. Information
about pollution risks should be made more accessible to the public, through a transparent and open
system of pollution control.
“The State government can make our pollution control system more open and transparent by involving
local residents in pollution audits, creating and promoting user‐friendly information tools and inviting
public comment for all renewals and variations of pollution licences,” Mr Clarke said.