Students banned from drinking school water amid lead contamination fears
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan is demanding answers from state bureaucrats who failed to test new schools for lead contamination, forcing hundreds of Perth students to drink bottled water yesterday.
Two schools, Doubleview Primary School and Southern Grove Primary School, have now been cleared.
But Rapids Landing Primary School, Aveley North Primary School and Aveley Secondary College students are still banned from drinking from the taps at their schools.
Mr McGowan is blaming public servants, who did not finish the testing that was ordered in October and only told the Education Minister Sue Ellery less than 24 hours before the start of term one.
“We’re trying to find out where responsibility lies and those people deserve a good kick up the pants,” Mr McGowan said.
“She was assured by the relevant agencies it was all under control but unfortunately those assurances were wrong.
“It’s frustrating and it makes me angry that the minister did everything right to protect the health of children and the people responsible for testing didn’t get it done in time.” Mr McGowan has rejected opposition calls for Ms Ellery to be sacked over the incidents.
“She’s a great minister, doing a good job in difficult circumstances, she’s been let down here,” he said.
“The government’s been let down, the families have been let down, we’re trying to find out where the failure took place.” © Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018