In January 2004 then NSW Planning Minister Craig Knowles appointed an Independent Panel to review a 2002 Commission of Inquiry recommendation supporting destruction of the Hexachlorobene stockpile at Banksmeadow using Geomelt technology. The Independent Panel headed by Tony Wright reported in July 2004 with a recommendation that Orica seek a regional site for destruction of HCB waste using Geomelt technology. In October 2005 Orica made approaches to 109 non-metropolitan LGAs eliciting 31 expressions of interest. There was no visible support from either the Federal or State Ministers for Environment, no commitment by either governments or Orica to ongoing investment in the host community and no proposed ‘offset’. Orica reported to the local community in June 2006 that the attempt to find a host community had failed and that they would be seeking an export licence.
Almost 10 years later the stockpile, described by Australia’s Chief Scientist as representing an Unacceptable Risk to the community, remains at Banksmeadow. The German export failed. The Danish export failed. In 2014 the first attempt to export to France failed. Yet the State and Federal Governments and Orica will not consider re- examining an Australian solution.