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Wednesday, 31 March 2004
Ask no questions, ...find no evidence. How convenient.
Yet another poisoned former WA Government worker from Derby died last week, and another over Christmas (R.I.P. Brothers).
We will keep fighting for you. is still asking, and has still received no answers from our earlier questions to Agriculture Minister Kim Chance.
The biggest question is why does the WA Government spend so much money when they simply refuse to properly investigate the scores of premature deaths and debilitating illnesses.
The so-called Expert Medical Panel simply dismisses the evidence of ridiculously so far off-spec 245T with extreme dioxin content(really "toxic waste", not production herbicide) being supplied to the Kimberly workers. Bruce Armstrong says he found no evidence. Well, check out the following transcript and footnote.

Courtesy of ABC TV's "7:30 Report":
MICK O'DONNELL: Both the Queensland Forestry workers and the Kimberley spray gangs believe they were victims of a rogue batch of the chemical dumped in Australia during the Vietnam War.

CARL DRYSDALE, KIMBERLEY AGRICULTURE DEPT WORKER: All of a sudden we got all of these drums and then we asked where they came from.

MICK O'DONNELL: Most of the 245T the Derby workers used had come in drums like this one, clearly labelled by the Kwinana Company which sold it to the Agriculture Protection Board.

But the batch which arrived in Derby in the early 70s was unlabelled, in second hand drums.

CARL DRYSDALE: The original stuff was sort of like a honey consistency or an engine oil consistency and this stuff was dark brown with silvery coloured streaks through it.

MICK O'DONNELL: And remarkably, workers on the other side of the country also recall a similar strange batch of the chemical arriving in the early 70s.

SID ARMSTRONG: It was a black, sludgy looking stuff.

It looked like a black treacle.

MICK O'DONNELL: And those descriptions sound remarkably like the sample Canberra professor of chemistry Ben Selinger hunted down when he investigated a rogue batch of 245T in 1981.

EMERITUS PROF BEN SELINGER, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: The sample we had of the fire damaged stock was black and viscous and not like you'd expect pure 245T to look.

MICK O'DONNELL: The mystery of the rogue batch takes us back to this plant, south of Perth.

Chemical Industries Kwinana was importing 245T during the Vietnam War.

A report by the Tariff Board in 1971, tabled in Parliament, found the company was importing fire damaged 245T from Singapore, dumped here at low prices.

EMERITUS PROF BEN SELINGER: Fire damage, particularly at the stage it was being transformed at in Singapore, would increase significantly the levels of dioxin in the 245T.

MICK O'DONNELL: Is it possible that some of that ended up in the Kimberley, used by those workers?

PROF BRUCE ARMSTRONG: I think it's certainly possible.
We found no evidence of it but nobody seems to know what happened to it.

Professor Bruce Armstrong did not meet or interview any of the affected workers in Derby, nor did he access their medical records held there.
"We found no evidence.."
He clearly states in his report that the Panel did not call for submissions and none were received. Similarly, the Panel did not seek to interview any APB workers.
...But still the experts managed to gain five (5) psychiatric reports on the affected workers!
Absolutely stunning stuff!
Come on people, where's the critical analysis of this joke?

Bruce, you won't find evidence if you refuse to look or ask questions.
...but then again, maybe you knew that already.

We have been told the cost of this is around $160,000.
Bloody great inquiry paid for by the WA public while our poisoned citizens continue to die.
Shamefully sad.

These people today, your children tomorrow.

That sounds dramatic, but this is why we are here, because as you can see, there is no sign from the WA Government that lessons are ever learned year in year out.
Why face problems when you can sweep them under the carpet? it will continue to the next generation. Why shouldn't it?
Wittenoom asbestos M.O. lives on. People die.
What are you going to do about it?

Posted by Westralia.Net at 12:08 AM WST
Updated: Wednesday, 31 March 2004 12:24 AM WST
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Wednesday, 3 March 2004
Feds keep our money. ... Again.
As a follow on from the recent electricity bungle, the National Competition Council (NCC) is about to impose more multi-million dollar penalties on WA for the State's failure to enact electricity reforms.
$41 million was held back last year due to failure of the State to enact other reforms, such as in Retail Trading. The latest indications are this next penalty will be more serious.

Aside from the alleged "good intentions" of the NCC and incompetence of the State government in avoiding these penalties, questions the whole acceptance of this situation.
Dickheads or not, the State Goverment was elected by the people here. Penalaties on the WA Treasury and public, simply because Canberra does not see the policies it wants should not be tolerated. suggests:
If the Feds in Canberra and the NCC want to see REAL COMPETITION, they should sacrifice their own positions and encourage true competition between the States by returning State Taxation rights hijacked for the Commonwealth war effort in 1941 and never given back.
Firstly, Westralia virtually generates biggest bucks per capita by far. So we need not have any fear of our own poverty.
#2, We, and the Australian States should be rationing our money to the Federal Government for the provision of literally, Commonwealth Services. This was the original intention.
#3, How would Westralia be then, competing with each Australian state for business and generally making Westralia an attractive location by way of provision of services and lifestyle.
Likewise those States would compete with us and each other. You could not short cut on services and infrastructure spending, nor could you over tax the citizens. Whatever provided the best outcome for the citizens would dictate their choice.

That is "National Competition".
This was demonstrated a few decades ago with all systems go in Queensland after they abolished Death Duties. Meanwhile the other States continued to tax you even after you died. They soon woke up when big slabs of tax paying population moved north to Queensland. That demographic shift fueled the development of that state we see today.
No one seems to have suffered due to loss of Death Tax.
Remember, that was the original intention. Not to be raped and pillaged, then every year go back rattling our little cup; "Please Sir, can I have some more?"

...And for Death Taxes, well in the whole scope of humanity, people might actually want to leave a contribution to their own caring society if they knew it would never be wasted. In fact they might even compete to see who would bequest the most.
...But that is another story for another time.

Posted by Westralia.Net at 11:19 PM WST
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More Iron to China - More Big $$$ to Westralia
Congratulations to BHP Billiton's new $11.6 Billion iron-ore sales deal to China!
Together with Rio Tinto's bigger output it is almost like the "Glory Days" of the seventies for our iron producers.

Westralians familiar with BHP Iron Ore's previous life as Mt. Newman Mining Company will recognise's black swan logo as being the obsolete centrepiece of MNM's famous "Back Duck".
BHP kindly provided permission for our continued use.

Posted by Westralia.Net at 1:04 AM WST
Updated: Wednesday, 3 March 2004 10:55 PM WST
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Saturday, 28 February 2004
No Electricity - a good example of DUMB.
After Perth's rolling power cuts of last week or so, the media are still wondering why no heads in State government have rolled.

From's perspective, the big issue here is that WA Government blows the trumpets after securing a $25 Billion Gas deal to supply China's energy market, but has not enough brains to realise you don't put contractual caps on your own gas supplies from your own resources supplying your own city. DUMB.

Posted by Westralia.Net at 5:57 PM WST
Updated: Saturday, 28 February 2004 6:20 PM WST
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Update - Derby Poisoned workers
...And now for the latest slap in the face.
Of the minority of workers who will be eligible for their Worker's Compensation entitlements, they will only be able to receive upto the 1982 (when the saga began) maximum available of around $60,000.
Beter than a poke in the eye with a hot stick, you might think, but not so.
Even if they were to receive today's maximum amount of around $120,000 for lost pay, they are obliged to REPAY all the Social Security payments they have claimed for being too sick to work for all these years.
So after the whole exercise they still get NOTHING, unless they only became incapacitated recently.
Another classic tragedy initiated by the State of WA.

Posted by Westralia.Net at 5:45 PM WST
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Friday, 27 February 2004
Derby - Poisoned workers not impressed.
Today after more than 20 years of fighting, the former state government Agricultual Board workers who were exposed to Chemicals that was supposed to be 245T during the 1980's were told their Worker's Compensation claims would be fast-tracked.
Trouble is, of 90 odd affected workers, 36 are already prematurely dead. Also the WA authorities say it is only the cancer-struck workers who will get the fast-track deal. (Gee Whiz, after 20 years, what's the normal speed?)No guarantees for the others, some who have not been able to work for several years. Minister Chance coceded that perhaps one worker who received contact bindness after only 3 months work will probably get something. He's been blind for nearly twenty years.
The WA gov's "Expert Medical Panel", who didn't even interview or ask for the workers medical records, concluded there is no evidence of a link from 245T exposure to the other debilitating illness suffered by the workers.
We believe that the offending chemical used was no longer in fact production herbicide, but after being fire-damaged had extremely elevated levels of dioxin. If so, it was then "TOXIC WASTE", not herbicide. Sampling evidence and research shows this to be likely, but the WA gov's panel has simply dismissed all eye witness accounts of the product that the gov illegally supplied to their own workers in unmarked drums, telling them, "it was safe enough to drink", when workers feared for their personal safety.
Most of the workers boycotted the meeting, once again feeling well in advance that they were going to be left for dead. put these questions to Mr.Chance:

How are workers Comp claims going to work when Armstrong says there is no firm evidence of link?

The real issue was not explored: This was not Herbicide, but allegedly "toxic waste" being so far off specification with dioxin content.

The real question of where the rogue batches (as evidenced in the Federal tariff investigation) finished up was simply dismissed.

We know it came in to Australia in large enough quantities. This has been researched by competent people. Where did it go?

We still need to know even if it did not go to Derby. The stuff is a known disaster and it has supposedly disappeared into thin air.

Why were the chemicals supplied illegally to the workers in unmarked drums?

Why were workers' accounts of witnessing completely different physical characteristics of these drums contents not researched?

The same claims by workers in Qld and Vic over a similar period?

What was wrong with Harper's Report?

Why did it need a review?

Why was a specialist used who had already published work in medical journals dismissing Viet vets Agent Orange claims, and went on to supposing blame on the vets and their spouses living habits as a more probable cause of birth defects?

Why is there such a concentration on cancer links, when the symptoms many workers suffer are not indicative of cancer?

How did Armstrong and co. manage a report on these workers when he did not interview them and did not access their medical records?

What was the public cost of the Armstrong Inquiry?

What was the public cost of flying the circus to nearly 2000 Km to Derby, when only about 8 of about 50 workers attended?

More waiting, less answers no doubt.

Posted by Westralia.Net at 10:29 PM WST
Updated: Friday, 27 February 2004 10:34 PM WST
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