Wednesday, 10 May 2017
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 309 standing in my name for today relating to Nauruan cadmium levels.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Nauruan environment was damaged by extensive phosphate mining throughout the twentieth century creating cadmium residue,
(ii) the World Health Organisation classifies cadmium as a human carcinogen, which has toxic effects on the kidneys, skeletal and respiratory system, and
(iii) the levels of cadmium remain unknown and refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru are yet to be tested for elevated levels of cadmium in their bodies; and
(b) calls on the Government to investigate the presence of cadmium in the Republic of Nauru and the health risks associated with prolonged cadmium and phosphate exposure, and test refugees and people seeking asylum for elevated cadmium levels.
This is yet another Greens stunt. The Greens well know that the Australian government is not responsible for the management of cadmium on the Republic of Nauru. It is a matter for the government of Nauru. Regardless, there are no regional processing facilities located within the immediate vicinity of any active mining operations, and extensive dust minimisation strategies are in place on Nauru. If the Greens cared about refugees on Nauru, they would support the government's strong and consistent border protection policies rather than constantly trying to play political games.