Australia's toxic waste cargo ship fails safety inspection

12:40, November 27, 2010      

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Australian Toxic Network on Saturday expressed concerns about the safety of the cargo carrying Australia's toxic waste to Denmark.

Australian and Danish governments agreed to dispose the 3,000- ton shipment of waste from Australia at an incineration site in the south of Denmark.

In total, 16,000 tons of high-risk waste, or hexachlorobenzene, has been stored for years in the heart of a residential zone at Orica's Botany Bay facilities in Sydney of Australia. The waste was created by the production of plastics and solvents, and it must be destroyed safely.

The ship, Beluga Fascination, currently off the New South Wales coast of Australia, has been preparing to take up to 3,000 tons of the waste from Sydney to the Danish port of Nyborg.

However, Australian Toxic Network spokeswoman Mariann Lloyd- Smith said the ship failed a safety inspection this year, added that Danish dock workers are also worried about the shipment.

"Last Friday the Danish dock workers, with support from both Swedish and Norwegian dock workers and other transport workers throughout Europe, have said that they will not under any circumstance participate in the unloading or handling of this shipment," she told ABC News on Saturday.

"So I think that clearly places this shipment in doubt."

Lloyd-Smith urged Environment Minister Tony Burke to revoke the export license for the waste, added that the destroy of toxic waste should be done in Australia instead.

She said environmental organizations across the world have all warned of the risks of a major environmental disaster if something goes wrong on this 20,000 kilometer journey.

This is most inappropriate to be sending this sort of waste, which is probably one of the most toxic substances ever produced, all this way to Denmark, Lloyd-Smith added.

Source: Xinhua


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