To: Hon Wendy Edmond MLA <>
Subject: Confidence shot!
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 9:09 PM

Dear Ms Edmond

What confidence can we have in the Workplace Health and Safety implications of the inappropriate siting of high risk laboratories in the residential suburbs of St Lucia and Indooroopilly as proposed, with the poor record prevailing in Queensland as evidenced in the following report in The Sunday Mail?

The local community are unequivocally opposed to the inappropriate location of large (and potentially commercial) GMO research stations within the residential environs of Brisbane. Specifically, the residents have been vigourously campaigning against the Natural Sciences Precinct (NSP), to be built on the site of existing smaller laboratory facilities, currently owned by the CSIRO and the Qld State Government, in conjunction with the University of Queensland, and the UQ / CSIRO Joint Building Project (IMB) proposed on the site of the Cunningham Laboratories by the St Lucia Campus. This massive research complex, about to be built adjoining the UQ is some 153m long, seven stories high, and directly across the road from an established Residential A area at St.Lucia, in the inner western suburbs of Brisbane!!

Our member organisation, the St Lucia Residents' Association, sought a Risk Assessment Analysis for the establishment of the proposed Centre of Excellence for Biotechnology within our residential suburbs. There has not been even the courtesy of a reply to this request, which we believe to be a fundamental precautionary principle in dealing with a technology which has caused such controversy overseas. There is alarm that escape of genetically modified organisms and contamination of the natural environment will have irreversible consequences and a profound effect upon biodiversity. At the very least, we believe that the safety and security of the community deserve an Environmental Impact Statement, before a high tech project of this size and nature is sanctioned. (Indeed, an EIS may have been prepared, without our imput as essential stakeholders, though not publicly released, which is hardly the transparent, accountable process which the affected community have sought).

To put it mildly, our confidence is shot!


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