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Morwell ash ‘has to be experienced to be believed’ – Barber

Hazelwood-coal-mine-fire

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber, in Morwell on Friday, says the community wants urgent answers on the health risks of the ash raining on the town from the Hazelwood coal mine fire.

“The ash from the Hazelwood fire is raining down on Morwell and it has to be experienced to be believed. People are walking the streets in surgical masks, it’s in your eyes, it’s working its way inside every building. I can feel it as grit between my teeth,” said Greg Barber MLC

“Two weeks after this fire started, the Environment Protection Authority and Department of Health are only starting to monitor, sample and test. We haven’t got the results yet, but fly ash produced by coal fired power stations is not good stuff.”

“It’s in people’s houses in great quantities. The Country Fire Authority is referring health-related questions to the other agencies but those aren’t saying anything useful. Reassurances not based on information are not reassuring.”

“They’ve just added a Morwell South monitoring station close to the fire, and it’s showing six times the pollution the Morwell East one has been reading. We need all information on air quality collected so far to be made public, so people can make their own decisions. People urgently want to know what’s in this ash and whether they need to take steps to limit their exposure to it. Those who can are leaving town. We need financial compensation to homes and businesses for cleaning bills, lost income and other out of pocket costs,” said Mr Barber

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