Protecting the people of Port Augusta

The State Liberals want Minister Kyam Maher to detail what steps have been taken to reduce the risk of the sealant on the ash dam for the Northern Power Station being washed away and another catastrophic dust storm engulfing Port Augusta.

Forecast rain tomorrow threatens to recreate the conditions that left Port Augusta looking like Pompeii early in the new year.

“This is precisely why we were calling for a State Government Taskforce to be established to deal with this issue when Port Augusta was first engulfed in ash dust almost two weeks ago,” said Shadow Minister for the Environment Michelle Lensink.

“What the people of Port Augusta needed and deserved was an emergency response from the Weatherill Government and Flinders Power to the dangerous conditions created by the failure of the sealant on the ash dam.

“Flinders Power identified the possibility of Port Augusta being engulfed in a dust storm from the ash dam as part of its decommissioning planning.”

The Plan reveals this was first time the process had been used on a large-scale ash dam and the possibility of the sealant being washed away as a result of rain.

Augusta Power Stations Dust Management Plans Demolition and Site Rehabilitation

Contingency Planning

Storm event causes deterioration of suppressant leads to ineffective seal and risk of ash dust migration … Off-site by strong winds (leading to) Adverse health impacts caused by particulate exposure (Page 4)

“For Port Augusta to be engulfed by an ash storm once is outrageous, for it to happen a second time would be scandalous,” said Ms Lensink.

“The people of Port Augusta have every reason to be very upset with the performance of both the company and the Weatherill Government in this crisis.”