Thursday, 19 June 2008

Radiation checks lessened at mine: Greens

The Greens say standards for radiation monitoring at the Olympic Dam mine owned by BHP Billiton have been watered down by the South Australian Government.

SA Greens MP Mark Parnell says documents he has obtained under freedom of information raise serious concerns about how often testing for radiation occurs at the mine in outback SA.

He says reports provided to the Environment Protection Authority by BHP Billiton lack detail about radiation exposure for people working in areas of the uranium and copper mine where the risk is highest.

Mr Parnell says tougher reporting standards are needed.

"Our criticism here is of the Government because it's the Government that sets the standards for radiation monitoring," he said.

"BHP Billiton will only do what the Government makes them do. If the Government waters down the standards then it's their responsibility if workers are being put at risk."

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