Chemical Spill In Darwin Harbour

Union raises alarm over health risks for workers and the public

An inquiry will be launched into concerns about hazardous copper concentrate washing from Darwin's port into the city's harbour, ABC reports.

Maritime Union of Australia organiser Glen Williams told ABC the union has been calling for the conveyer belt to be covered for 18 months.

"The level of containment down there of the product is clearly not adequate," he said.

"We have been calling for some time to have the loader fully enclosed to reduce - not completely - but I'm sure that you would reduce spillage and the dust being blown all over the wharf, if we had a fully contained and concealed conveyor system."

He said members have also raised issues surrounding manganese and iron ore as well.

"It's not only the copper concentrate that is the issue - you have got iron ore and manganese being trucked down from the stockpile area," he said.

"While copper concentrate is the nastiest product down there, I don't think it would be very good for your health working around that wharf area with iron ore dust blowing around and you are breathing that in."

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