A PUBLIC forum planned for Esperance next week will give residents the opportunity to comment on the future of the town’s port. The forum, taking place on February 8, will enable the community to ask questions and raise issues on controversial topics including nickel exports, health and toxicology reports and upgrades to port operations. Premier Colin Barnett and Transport Minister Simon O’Brien will join medical and scientific experts, as well as representatives from the Port Authority and the local shire, to engage in specific discussions with community members. The forum will be held at the Esperance Civic Centre. A range of technical, medical and scientific information booths will be set up in the foyer of the civic centre. Mr O’Brien announced the public forum during a recent visit to Esperance, where he inspected preparations for the removal of 9,000 tonnes of stockpiled lead carbonate. Mr O’Brien said he was keen to listen to the community to further understand the nature of their concerns and pleased to see the back of the lead stockpile. Specialised bagging equipment was brought online last week under the project manager in charge of the lead cleanup, John Ottaway.