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New testing has verified that vegetables grown in the Matraville Chinese Market Gardens are

safe for consumption, contrary to a recent report of contamination released by neighbouring


organisation, Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park cemetery.

Terra Ha, President of the Chinese Growers Association of NSW and who runs one of the
longest operating Chinese Market Gardens says that the tests, conducted by the Flemington
Markets Growers Association find that the vegetables contain neither mercury or lead and
only small amounts of other minerals that are well under safe consumption levels.

Dr Tony Pun of the Chinese Community Council of Australia says that the report showing that
the gardens’ water irrigation source contains high amounts of heavy metals was “plain
scaremongering” that threatens both the livelihood of the farmers and scares the public.

He also described the report a blatant “land grab” and the latest in a long line of scare tactics
employed by the park designed to divide the community. He suggests the parks attempts to
rallying Greek, Jewish and Aboriginal religious groups to support the reallocation of the
heritage listed gardens as burial space is designed to create “ethnic divisions”.

Terry Ha is also concerned that the release of the report is a threat to his business and may
also be hurting other small businesses in the local area. “My friend, a green grocer gets
asked “Where are the vegetables from?” and then his sales go down”.

A statement on behalf of Randwick City Councillor, Murray Matson also confirms councils’
understanding that “the quality of water used to irrigate the vegetables satisfies the Australian
and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) guidelines for water
irrigation use”.

In response to the importance of the preserving the heritage listed Market Garden’s site, the
statement also says Cr Matson will "continue to advocate the site be rezoned to Rural Small
Holdings which allows for agricultural production to recognise and protect the market
gardens”.

Greg Passon, CEO of Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, denies that the park commissioned
the report, saying that the park conducted testing on behalf of the Department of Lands as
part of their responsibility as caretakers of the land.

In their push to acquire more burial space, the park has also collected a petition of 12000
signatures. Passon says the petition shows a greater need than “supporting one occupant on
peppercorn rent who is growing unviable vegetables”.

He describes the gardens as an “environmental and ecological disaster”, saying that “the
vegetables have been unfit for consumption since 2003” and downplays the heritage aspect
as “important but minor compared to the greater issue in the community of the need for burial
space”.