Image for Kay Seltitzas responds to censorship at The Mercury, The Advocate and The Examiner

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Mercury stories on mining ... and lead.

Since our Taskforce (Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania - THMTT)  publicly released our findings about the gaps in knowledge and data contained in the EPA/DHHS Final Report on Rosebery in 2010, The Mercury, The Examiner and The Advocate have refused to give us fair right of reply after the many timely Media Releases we have issued in the hope that fair reporting on the ongoing Rosebery controversies would occur.

Tasmanian newspapers are continuing to censor the knowledge and voices of those in Tasmania who will speak truth to power - especially the mining industry and those gatekeepers heading up government departments.

After the ABC 7.30 Report went to air on Friday 29th November about the MMG Rosebery mine licence being outdated ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-30/rosebery-mine-operating-on-an-outdated-environmental-licence/5126830 ), our Taskforce issued several Media Releases including providing a Press Release from Professor Ray Kearney from the University of Sydney ( http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/mmg-rosebery-mine-top-toxic-polluter-in-tasmania/ ).

Professor Ray Kearney has backed our Taskforce in our critcisms about the gaps in knowledge and data in the EPA/DHHS investigations with the following comments that no media in Tasmania would report:

• Failed to respond appropriately to the monitored measurements and blood/urine levels of several Rosebery residents diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning by Dr Andreas Ernst.

• Derived results from the inappropriate application of methods.

• Failed to incorporate proper factors for valid readings.

• Skewed the results to a pre-determined outcome.

• Removed data that was inconveniently high.

• Adopted standards that are known to be flawed or inappropriate

• Deliberately misled in the interpretation and analysis, as well as in data presentation.

• Ignored the numerous, clear and specific directives to address the alleged toxic impacts or to amend the study design for scientific stringency and methodological validity.

Professor Kearney also stated in a Media Release that:

    ‘I believe there is not only an obligation of ‘due diligence’ by the Tasmanian Government Regulatory Authorities (Environment Protection Authority, Health etc) but also on the subject mining company(s) to implement proven measures to clean and detoxify the polluted airstream arising from the process of mining/transporting toxic heavy metals. Such measures would be consistent with the Precautionary Principles.’

Over the last few weeks the Mercury has been running two page advertorials for the mining industry, but post-the-ABC7.30 Report expose on Rosebery, not one of the newspapers in Tasmania has attempted to provide balanced reporting about the impacts of the mining industry on human and environmental health. Needless to say THMTT and the Tasmanian Public and Environmental Health Network are the only NGO’s in Tasmania that have a comprehensive and integrated Mining Policy and are both well placed to provide comment to media.

The Tasmanian newspapers fail to seek any comment from THMMT on any issue relating to mining and this was especially galling after the Premier Lara Giddings this year announced that the Green/Labor Government were providing a $500,000 subsidy in the form of 3 years’ royalty relief to Grange Resources Savage River mine. The media also failed to give coverage to the investigation by TPEHN which has identified over 75 heavy metal contaminated waterways in Tasmania.

We would like to thank the ABC for having the courage to report our side of the story over the years to enable a balanced representation of the issues and the facts from our Taskforce perspective as much as they have been able to.

We would like to take this opportunity to especially congratulate Tasmanian Times for supporting freedom of speech and the voices of those people who have lived experiences and the expert knowledge that goes with those lived experiences.