A former Wittenoom worker has warned travellers ignoring warnings so they can fill their Instagram pages with photos of the deadly town are condemning themselves to a “life of misery” as the State Government reintroduces a Bill to close the site. A series of photos were posted to Instagram by Greg Calaghan last week from on top of the cancer-causing asbestos tailing piles and inside a claustrophobic mine shaft, where an old cart and tyres can be seen in grainy shots. Another photo posted last month by Shayla Grant shows a four wheel drive parked on the asbestos tailings with the caption “asbestos everywhere, people still camp here regardless, not sure I would”. Ex-Wittenoom worker Robin Chapple, who retired from politics after being diagnosed with asbestosis last year, said visitors to the contaminated site were mad. “I’ve seen people taking young kids into the old, abandoned mine site, which is almost committing their children to — 20 years time — a life of misery as they slowly die,” he said. “It only requires one fibre in your lungs to initiate a cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis.” It’s not the first time Insta-idiots have been found risking their lives for photos from the picturesque but deadly gorges. In 2019 former resident Helen Cheeseman, who had only recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, told wannabe influences “don’t go. You are stupid, you are mad, you are insane.” “Asbestos is deadly, scary, microscopic s***, and it will get you,” she said. Later that year British finance company Together Money stupidly advertised Wittenoom as as a $1.7bn redevelopment potential in a pitch which was quickly condemned by REIWA president Damian Collins. One year later National Centre of Asbestos Related Diseases advisory chair Melita Markey said holidaymakers putting themselves and others at risk for the sake of a photograph were “playing Russian roulette with your life and your children’s lives”. A Bill to finalise the closure of the Pilbara’s condemned asbestos mining town was last week reintroduced in State Parliament as visitors continue to ignore warnings to steer clear of the picturesque yet deadly gorges. The Wittenoom Closure Bill will enable the compulsory acquisition of 14 remaining privately owned properties in the former townsite. Once the Bill is passed and the final properties have been acquired, all remaining infrastructure will be demolished to limit people visiting and staying in the area. The town, considered to be the most contaminated site in the southern hemisphere, has more than 2000 deaths linked to its blue asbestos mining operation in the 1960s. Lands Minister Tony Buti said Wittenoom was one of the biggest contaminated sites in the world and remained a public health risk. “The Wittenoom Closure Bill is a significant step forward to resolve this longstanding industrial tragedy, protect public health and put an end to a dark period in our State’s mine closure history,” he said. “The State Government’s message to people tempted to visit Wittenoom is simple — don’t. “It’s simply not worth putting your health at stake for a few Instagram shots.” Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said the Shire supported the State Government’s decision to close the former townsite. “Together with the State, we are liaising with those who still reside there and discourage members of the public from entering the area, and urge members of the community to adhere to warning signs and advice,” she said. “The Shire is strongly supportive of wholly protecting the townsite and surrounds, and has expressed our concerns that raw asbestos continues to contaminate the land and river systems in the area.” The Bill was previously passed by the Legislative Assembly during the last Parliament but could not progress through the Legislative Council ahead of the 2021 State election. Wittenoom was formally delisted as a town in 2007, and the State has since acquired most of the private properties through voluntary acquisition.