Representatives from the Department of Health briefed Labor following media reports of a “cancer cluster” on Cabbage Tree Road in Williamtown.
Discussions focused on the “cancer cluster” reports; protocols around Health’s epidemiological study; continued voluntary blood tests; and progress of the PFAS Taskforce.
Environmental health researchers from the Australian National University lead the study, applying their experience from their involvement in the ACT Government’s response to Mr Fluffy asbestos exposure across Canberra.
The researchers assured Labor study protocols would scrutinise any health effects of PFAS exposure, with interim reporting made available for residents on the ANU’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health website.
Measures would include:
- Expanding voluntary blood test opportunities to people near the investigation area in Williamtown
- Forming focus groups to better understand the impact on the community, and
- Conducting a cross-sectional survey to drill down into potential PFAS pathways of exposure, as well as other illnesses.
Labor also requested a briefing from the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister’s office on the Turnbull Government’s “solution” for Williamtown.
Labor is still awaiting a response to that request.