The Marshall Government and Nyrstar have agreed to extend lead abatement programs in Port Pirie for another 10 years from 2024 to 2034 as part of their commitment to the people of Port Pirie and the Upper Spencer Gulf.
While we are targeting significant progress on lead in air and blood in the near term, addressing all the wide-ranging environmental impacts of well over 100 years of operation of the Port Pirie lead smelter will take more time.
“Promises from the former Labor Government that lead pollution would be a thing of the past have not been delivered and the independent review by Mr Lew Owens confirms that a concerted effort is needed to truly deliver on decades of promises to the people of Port Pirie,” said Dan van Holst Pellekaan, Minister for Energy and Mining.
“That’s why the Marshall Government will announce a series of significant new measures to lay the foundations for the short, medium and long-term reduction of lead in air and blood in Port Pirie.
“We intend to deliver real results in the near term and keep up a sustained effort into the future.
“It’s clear that there’s no silver bullet or quick-fix, and that’s why I’ve personally sought and secured an agreement from Nyrstar to commit to a long-term agreement with the Port Pirie community.
“The people of Port Pirie deserve to see State Government and Nyrstar committing to the long-haul, as we enter a new phase of fighting legacy lead in partnership with the community.
“The community want a seat at the TLAP table and I have delivered that with Port Pirie Council now working directly with Government and Nyrstar.
“The community now has a seat at the decision-making table, and this new agreement means that will continue for many years to come.
“The State Government and Nyrstar also commit that all underspends in the TLAP program in one year are rolled over to the next year, so the community can have confidence that all money and programs pledged will be delivered.”
Nyrstar is very pleased to confirm a 10 year extension of the Targeted Lead Abatement Program (TLAP).
The State Government and Nyrstar established TLAP with the key objective of reducing the blood lead levels of children in Port Pirie. The program was originally scheduled to end in May 2024, but Nyrstar and the State recognise the critical importance of the program and have agreed to extend it for a further ten years.
Nyrstar’s Vice President Australian Operations Dale Webb said: “We recognize the importance of TLAP to addressing a very important issue for the people of Port Pirie. We are excited about the positive changes which have already occurred, including the appointment of Peter Dolan as TLAP Executive Director and the increased engagement of the community as we move forward.”
During the course of 2020-21 Nyrstar has invested more than $25 million on initiatives aimed at reducing LIA from its plant and operations and will continue investing and taking action to reduce LIA further.
Recent LIA reduction initiatives include completing tarping over its stockpiles, advanced construction of a temporary dome over its intermediate materials storage area, improving on site road cleaning based on enhanced data collection and major recladding of buildings.
Already, a number of recommendations from the Owens’ Review have been acted upon including a new TLAP board, local community representation and the appointment of an independent Executive Director, Peter Dolan.
Mr Dolan, formerly second in charge of the EPA, has relocated to live in Port Pirie so he can work closely with the local people, the council and Nyrstar.
“Mr Owens’ report provides us with clear, achievable goals and a pathway to achieving them, and as the recently appointed responsible minister I will ensure we get on with the job of reducing lead levels in Port Pirie,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.
“Whilst there has been progress during the last 15-20 years there is still a great deal of work to be done and I take personal responsibility for making improvements for the people of Port Pirie.”
The details of new agreement between Nyrstar and the State Government for 2024-2034 will be finalised by end of March 2022, with recommendations from the independent review already being acted upon.