The lawyer representing five children affected by lead poisoning at Mt Isa has welcomed Xstrata’s call for an expedited court hearing to resolve the facts in the case.
Lawyer Damian Scattini from Slater and Gordon says Xstrata’s call for a speedy resolution of the matter is a breakthrough.
“For two and half years we have been trying to bring this matter to court, but have been blocked by only one thing - Xstrata,” he said.
“Under Queensland law, we cannot have our day in court until we have had a compulsory conference to try to first resolve the matters.
“So far, Xstrata has refused all requests to have this first step, the compulsory conference.
“We say ‘bring it on’. Let’s have this conference next week, and, if, despite the parties’ efforts, we cannot reach agreement, let’s start proceedings in court.”
Mr Scattini says he will write to Xstrata today, confirming that he is keen to take them up on the expressed offer to move the matter forward.
“Today’s media release may have misstated who is really responsible for the delay – we’ve been waiting more than two years for Xstrata to agree to a conference – but, at the end of the day, the blame factor is not as important as getting some progress for the families of these children.
“We await Xstrata’s early response and repeat our willingness to meet with them as early as next week.