By Stephen Cook
THE FIRST casualty of war is truth ‚Äď even in the cement industry of all places.
In response to growing concerns over a potential multimillion dollar concrete cancer cover-up, the lobby group charged with representing the interests of everyone in the cement industry is continuing to side with the company at the centre of the controversy.
The move has baffled industry insiders who say the Cement and Concrete Association (CCANZ) should be taking affirmative action to alert the public to the issue rather than trying to pour cold water on a problem that could have disastrous longterm consequences for dozens of building projects across the country.
The public relations offensive is being driven by CCANZ head Rob Gaimster, who’s brought in the spin doctors to devise a plan of action aimed not at addressing the problem but at shutting down the controversy.
This week Gaimster has chosen to follow the path of least resistance by acting as an apologist for cement company Drymix, who have been strangely silent since the controversy broke.
This has angered industry insiders, who claim Gaimster and CCANZ are now completely and utterly compromised.
“I can’t understand why CCANZ have taken this position when there is clear evidence that a problem exists,” said one well-placed source.
Earlier this week Gaimster tried to play down the whole controversy, saying he was satisfied Drymix had taken sufficient steps to deal with the issue.
Despite test results to the contrary, he said to his knowledge there was no problem with any Drymix products from earlier in the year . He claimed the results with high alkali levels had come from only small test samples and when re-testing was carried out on larger samples they were within the appropriate range. ¬† Read more »