Contract signed for long-term health study (4.11.2014)

Written on the 4 November 2014


Monash University to lead examination of potential impact Study to last 20 years as recommended by Board of Inquiry Community advisory committee to be formed

Monash University has been appointed to lead a long-term health study into the potential health impacts of exposure to emissions from the Hazelwood open cut coal mine fire.

Minister for Health David Davis said researchers from Monash University will work with a consortium of experts from Federation University and the University of Tasmania on the long-term study.

“The Government has accepted in full the recommendation of the Teague Board of Inquiry that the study be of at least 20 years duration,” Mr Davis said.

“The selection of the Monash-led team follows an open tender and extensive evaluation process.

“We are proud of Victoria’s strong record in health and medical research and are pleased that the conduct of this study represents an opportunity to access outstanding local expertise.”

Monash University and Federation University both have sites within the Latrobe Valley and will work closely with the local community.

Mr Davis said the Department will be working with the Monash group to ensure they are well connected with the community.

“They will investigate the long term impact of exposure to emissions from the Hazelwood coal mine fire on the development of heart and lung conditions, cancers and mental health outcomes,” Mr Davis said.

“It will also include an assessment of impacts on children. This information, including sub-group analysis of vulnerable groups such as children and older people, will enable a more accurate understanding of the risks associated with such an event.

“We expect this study to provide relevant information to the community to address their health concerns,” Mr Davis said.

The study outcomes will also inform the evidence on which to base health advice for the future and contribute to the understanding of long term impact of short term events.

As part of the project, clinical and scientific reference groups will be established.

In addition, a community advisory committee will be formed to include community groups, local government, community health and hospitals.

The Department and the Monash-led team will provide the community with regular updates regarding the progress of the study.

It is anticipated that the first stage of the study will commence by early 2015.

For specific enquiries relating to the health study, an interim contact is available by emailing health.study@health.vic.gov.au.

 

General information related to the Hazelwood Mine Fire can be accessed at www.health.vic.gov.au/hazelwood

 

Media contact: Ashley Gardiner 0427 560 438


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