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Rio Tinto Must Remove Dross Immediately

NZ First is calling on Rio Tinto to accept its responsibilities to the Southland community and enable the immediate removal of the toxic Aluminium Dross from the Mataura Paper Mill site.

New Zealand First List MP for Clutha-Southland, Mark Patterson said, “This situation is totally untenable and New Zealand First will support the Government to take all available steps at its disposal to force Rio Tinto to remove the dross from Mataura immediately.

“The dross should be stored on site at Tiwai Point where there are existing facilities to store it and where the existing contract for further processing takes place. Last week Rio Tinto in Australia reneged on a deal struck by local management to do just this.

“Recent flooding exposed the vulnerability of the town to the potential exposure of toxic ammonia gases and ecological damage to the Matuara River. This level of risk would not be tolerated in Auckland or Wellington and nor should it be for the residents of Mataura.

“At a community meeting last week where there was only standing room left in the hall, angry locals spoke with one voice and NZ First supports them.

“Working in with the community, I will be facilitating the launch of a petition for the removal of the dross immediately,” said Mr Patterson.

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