Dr Paul Malouf and North Coast MLC Jan Barham met to discuss community concerns about soil contamination at Mooball.
Dr Paul Malouf and North Coast MLC Jan Barham met to discuss community concerns about soil contamination at Mooball. Alina Rylko

Environment Minister quizzed over Mooball contamination

RADIATION levels at Mooball have been placed in the spotlight in the NSW Parliament, after Greens MP Jan Barham tabled 45 questions on notice over the government’s soil remediation works in the village in the 1980s.

Ms Barham directed the questions at NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman following residents’ concerns over high levels of cancer among those living along Tweed Valley Way, the main thoroughfare through the village.

The homes are opposite a former mineral sand mining plant where thorium-rich tailings were historically accessed and used for gardens and house foundations.

It’s their ‘right to know cancer cluster truth’

Read all the questions put by MP Jan Barham

THE MLC has called on the minister to clarify what levels of radiation were considered safe in 1983, before the government’s remediation works in 1986, compared to today’s accepted level.

She also asked if a children’s playground on Mooball Rd, identified by the North Coast Health Region as radiation affected in 1983, was remediated as it was not assessed in subsequent reports.

“I am committed to continue with this issue to assist with assurances for the health and safety of the residents and the responsibility of government to address these concerns,” Ms Barham said.

Ronald Marshall lives on Tweed Valley Way and lost his wife and two daughters to cancer. One died aged only 42. He firmly believes radioactive 'black sands' dumped around Mooball were a contributing factor.
Ronald Marshall lives on Tweed Valley Way and lost his wife and two daughters to cancer. One died aged only 42. He firmly believes radioactive 'black sands' dumped around Mooball were a contributing factor. Alina Rylko

It comes as a newly formed Mooball Residents’ Association met on Saturday and resolved to lobby the Government to engage a Geiger counter expert to measure current radiation levels at Mooball.

Association member Dr Paul Malouf said a pamphlet would be distributed by members to the community asking them to sign if they were in support of the call.

The association will also write to Tweed Shire Council expressing their opposition to minimal lot sizes of 400 sqm for a development planned off Tweed Valley Way, urging it to consider 700 sqm lots instead.

“We’re also not happy with the style of the development because it’s not in keeping with the rural amenity of the village,” Dr Malouf said.

The association has also met State Emergency Services personnel over potential flood risks identified in the village and will call on council to clean out a large drain backing homes on the Tweed Valley Way.



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