State appoints marine biologist to Esperance Port Authority

22/11/2007 - 09:53

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The State Government has appointed marine biologist Phil Chalmer to the board of the Esperance Port Authority, bringing additional environmental experience to the board.

State appoints marine biologist to Esperance Port Authority

The State Government has appointed marine biologist Phil Chalmer to the board of the Esperance Port Authority, bringing additional environmental experience to the board.

 

 

The full text of an announcement from Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan is pasted below

Mr Phil Chalmer, one of Western Australia's most experienced marine biologists and environmental consultants, has been appointed director of the Esperance Port Authority Board.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said that Mr Chalmer, would bring additional environmental expertise to the Port Authority Board.

"We have been very fortunate in attracting Mr Chalmers, who resides in Condingup," Ms MacTiernan said.

"I believe it is important that port authorities have good local representation as well as relevant expertise.

"This appointment completes the introduction of a much stronger management focus on the environmental aspects of its operations.

"The port now has a complement of three environmental staff with the addition of an new environmental manager and a second environmental officer.

Mr Chalmer, now retired, holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and is a Doctor of Philosophy, from the University of Western Australia.

The Minister said the third round of blood lead testing of children in Esperance had provided further evidence of the effectiveness of the Government and community cleanup efforts.

"After three rounds of blood testing for lead levels, 80.7 per cent of the children, who initially had elevated blood lead levels are recording levels of 5 micrograms per decilitre or less," she said.

"Between the second and third rounds, 55 per cent of these children experienced another drop in blood lead levels.

"So far, blood levels have decreased in 95.5 per cent of the children.

"Unfortunately, seven of the children recorded increases of between one and four micrograms per litre.

"The Department of Health is working with their families to identify possible sources of contamination which may include lead paint, sinkers, toys and other non-Magellan sources."

Ms MacTiernan said Professor Alison Jones, from the University of Newcastle, an independent toxicologist, who has been advising the Department of Health on acceptable lead levels and treatment, has given strong endorsement to the program.

In a letter that would be sent to all Esperance residents, Professor Jones wrote:

"Virtually all the results show significant improvement, as expected, and that is good news!" Prof Jones said.

"Even someone working on the very cautious side would be pleased with these results and they do not indicate a need for concern or upgrading what we are collectively doing.

"The majority of the children have levels of 5ug/dL or below, even if a few have reached a plateau, and we can live with these levels happily."

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