Govt should compensate industrial contamination zone victims
18th Jul 2014
State authorities should compensate residents and property owners who have been adversely affected by the industrial contamination testing zone in Adelaide, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.
More than 1400 homes and businesses have been added to a contamination testing zone near former industrial sites in the city’s inner south, after elevated levels of the carcinogen trichloroethylene (TCE) were found in their soil and air that exceed World Health Organisation standards.
ALA South Australia Branch President Patrick Boylen said landowners and residents in the affected area should seek legal advice if they felt they had been disadvantaged.
“The Environmental Protection Authority has known about this contamination issue for a while, and it has a statutory obligation to let the public know in the Gazette and in the media,” Mr Boylen said.
“It has been six weeks since the EPA were first advised and only now has that information come to light. In that time, families have been frequently exposed.”
“This, frankly, is appalling.”
“The South Australian government has said that no compensation will be offered for health checks or reduction in property values, a move that will further neglect South Australians.”
“However, at law, the South Australian government may be liable to compensate residents, regardless of statements made over the past 48 hours.”
“People who may have purchased property in the area, unaware of the contamination issue, may also now find themselves significantly out of pocket with any devaluing of land.”
Mr Boylen encouraged affected residents to attend a public meeting at Glandore Community Centre on Sunday, from 1pm. Representatives of the Environmental Protection Authority, SA Health and the Housing Trust will be on hand to answer questions.