One of two men police ordered to leave a community meeting regarding the future of the Port Kembla stack says he had the interest of the region’s children in mind.
Paul Nolan said he was concerned about hazardous material blowing onto nearby schools during the stack’s demolition, scheduled for September 5.
‘‘If police want to throw me out for defending those kids ... then they can throw me out of every meeting in the world,’’ Mr Nolan said.
Port Kembla Copper general manager and director Ian Wilson dismissed Mr Nolan’s concerns and said fears hazardous material would be dispersed during the demolition had ‘‘absolutely no foundation whatsoever’’.
‘‘The demolition would not go ahead unless we had a clearance for asbestos removal.’’
He said all aluminium asbestos gaskets had already been removed from the stack.
Lake Illawarra police inspector Gordon Dunlop said the two men were removed from Thursday night’s meeting because they kept interrupting speakers and preventing other residents from having a say.
‘‘People are entitled to voice an opinion and ask questions [but] one person’s view shouldn’t dominate an entire discussion,’’ Insp Dunlop said.
He said the men were elderly and had protested about the impact of the stack on the environment over a number of decades.
Insp Dunlop said the meeting went smoothly other than the brief interruption.
‘‘Some people wanted it to remain, and some wanted it to come down ... one wanted to make it into a viable project,’’ he said.