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Friday, 24 September 2004
Wednesday Sept 22 saw some activity at state Parliament House with the Alumina Widows and Workers Action Group presenting a petition and protest to the government. The group and local community were opposed to Alcoa's plan to run a liquor burner at their Kwinana refinery. At the eleventh hour Environment Minister, Judy Edwards aka "Toxic Queen" appeared to be attempting to appease the protesters the afternoon before the rally by announcing that a full environmental assessment will be carried out prior to Alcoa being allowed to operate the burner.
This was not particularly relevant, as the community and workers who are concerned don't want any liquor burner there. (Government) assessed or not. Westralia.Net's Science Officer, Dr. Geoff Pain was present. Pain has been assisting the local alumina industry affected communities with air quality inquiries and generally doing some of the work that state regulators should be doing. For example, finding out what are the emissions.
Westralia.Net's own Grim Reaper was also there, representing the many deaths in Westralia caused by the WA government's cover-up and denial mentalities that we love to highlight. The Parliament House squad of the WA Police nabbed him on the way in to quiz him and check his ID, only to find he looked more deadly like a sweaty arab terrorist with his mask off, than as the hooded Grim Reaper.
The rally was not only to say to the government we don't want these deadly pollutants on our doorstep, but also to make an issue about the way the government turns a blind eye to the frequent related chemical spills from the industry, the extraordinary high number of workers dying while or after working at the Kwinana plant (how many oufits have their own Widows Group?), and the on-going fight to maintain safe emissions from Kwinana industry generally. The government loves to promote "Corporate Self-Regulation" of industry, simply because it is cheap and removes their responsibility.
The government do not want to hear the bloody obvious, ....IT DOESN'T WORK.
Pure logic dictates that corporate self-regulation is literally self-defeating.
The fairy tale of a "Noble Corporation" is just that; A pure fairy tale.
If we want human values to an entity, then we must hold humans accountable. The people who make the decisions are human, and they are the ones responsible. Accountability and corporation do not co-exist in the same sentence. Corporations serve a financial purpose solely as a capital-administrative vehicle.
Don't blame the corporation. It is only a piece of paper or a binary ID in a bunch of hard drives.
If you're looking for accountability, you won't find it there.
If you want responsibility, look for the PEOPLE who are charged with the responsibility. Look for the humans who must FEAR jail and personal punitive damages for being a hazard to the community. (Just like the rest of us)...Then you will see SELF-REGULATION, literally. That is what fear is good for.
So it has to be the bosses of the corporation, or the government officers who are charged to regulate.
These days our government is too smart with its pals. No-one is responsible, and innocent people die.
...'Coz YOU ain't worth shit to them!

Posted by Westralia.Net at 12:35 AM JST
Updated: Tuesday, 28 September 2004 10:05 PM JST
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