The Opposition's commitment to make Wittenoom a service centre for the Hamersley Range area was irresponsible in the extreme and could cost the State millions of dollars, Productivity and Labour Relations Minister Yvonne Henderson said today.
Mrs Henderson said she was shocked that the Opposition could disregard Wittenoom's legacy of disease, suffering and death by wanting to encourage people to live and work in the town.
"Wittenoom is the greatest single industrial blot in Western Australia's history," Mrs Henderson said.
"The Opposition is revealing its lack of concern about people's health and well-being and risking millions of dollars in damages claims."
Mrs Henderson said people would be required to work in the town if it was to remain open as a service centre and people would be encouraged to visit it.
Renewed activity would stir up the thousands of tonnes of asbestos tailings which were spread throughout the town and remained just below the topsoil.
"The blue asbestos tailings are so dangerous that the World Health Authority has refused to nominate a safety standard," the Minister said.
"Any employer has a duty to care for the health and well-being of its employees and visitors.
"We have withdrawn all Government services and would never condone any action which encouraged people to go to Wittenoom."