Orica: Come clean on mercury poisoning.
  • Petitioning Simon Westaway

This petition will be delivered to:

General Manager Corporate Communications
Simon Westaway
Global Head of Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility
Gavin Jackman,

Orica: Come clean on mercury poisoning.

    1. Chantal Snell
    2. Petition by

      Chantal Snell

      Sydney, Australia

Mercury from a chemical plant in Sydney – which has been referred to as the most contaminated industrial site in the country - appears to have spread into my community. Despite mounting evidence, growing community concern and a history of chemical spills, Orica has yet to agree to fund independent testing to find out.

The toxic effects of mercury poisoning have been known for millennia. According to experts mercury is particularly toxic to children below the age of 12 and pregnant or breastfeeding women and their babies most commonly causing neurological damage. I have two young boys, and I worry for their safety.

My community has asked for Orica to undertake genuinely independent testing of the area around their plant - but so far they have not agreed. They have said that current testing indicates there is no unacceptable health risk but when I look at their terrible track record of spills, contaminations and court cases, I really worry (media reports below).

Orica has tested conditions inside their plant, but not in the community nearby. I am asking you to help me convince Orica to do the right thing and urgently fund independent community supported testing for mercury contamination in a 1.25km radius from the Orica site.

"Mercury often washed into bay former ICI boss says" 28 January 2013 SMH

"Toxic metals found near homes" 27 January 2013 SMH

“Orica opposed study of mercury near plant.” 21 January 2013 SMH

“Port Botany mercury fears.” 20 January 2013 SMH

“Expert warns of Port Botany mercury danger.” 20 January 2013, ABC

“Orica fined for cyanide pollution.” 1 November 2012 Sky News

“Orica: How not to deal with a toxic leak.” 12 February 2012 ABC Radio National

“Orica releases mercury vapour” September 28, 2011, SMH

“Orica problems widen as mercury clean-up at Botany site fails.” 31 August 2011, SMH

“Orica’s record: 131 pollution licence breaches since 2000.” 21 August, 2011, Newcastle Herald

Simon Westaway, General Manager Corporate Communications
Gavin Jackman,, Global Head of Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility
I request that you urgently commit to fund independent community supported testing for mercury around the Port Botany area.

I am concerned that you may be poisoning local communities, and want you to step up and show you are genuinely 'socially responsible' like you say you are by funding these tests.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 10,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Claudia Reynolds SHOALWATER, AUSTRALIA
      • 2 days ago

      Orica should definitely do the tests to prove one way or another if there is contamination. If none then the community's fears will be laid to rest, but if there is then Orica are in big trouble and that's why they won't do it. They just don't care if there is contamination.

    • Neville Diener AUSTRALIA
      • 14 days ago

      The toxic effects of mercury poisoning have been known for millennia

    • Margaret Uren AUSTRALIA
      • 7 months ago

      As I live near Newcastle I know how difficult Orica is to talk to

    • janet cole AUSTRALIA
      • 9 months ago

      concern for family eating home grown produce. Hope testing will eliminate fears or require more caution not to use existing soil.

      • about 1 year ago

      Because people are important to me and the health and safety of people shouldn't be disregarded by giant companies who's only goal is to make a profit.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organising tools. Find out how to get started.