Friday, 6 February 2015

The Hazelwood Mine Fire Study opens its Latrobe Valley Office

The Hazelwood Mine Fire Health Study has opened it's Latrobe Valley Office as of the 27th of January. The opening of the Latrobe Valley office  allowed individuals to come and speak with the members of the study team; Professor Malcolm Sim, Professor Judi Walker, Dr. Martine Dennekamp, Dr Matthew Carroll and Acting Project Manager, Dr Phillip Thompson.

Also on the team are collaborators from Federation University.  Members of the local community spoke with the Hazelwood team, sharing their experiences and wanting to participate in the new 10 year study.

The study is the result of a mine fire which blanketed the town of Morwell in ash and smoke for six weeks last February and March. Morwell residents raised concerns in regards to the consistent smoke exposure leading to long-term health issues. This study has been funded by the Department of Health (Victoria) and is a collaboration between SPHPM, the School of Rural Health, the University of Adelaide, the University of Tasmania, Federation University and the CSIRO.  

The Hazelwood Mine Fire Health Study Team are seeking to identify any health concerns affecting the community and will determine the effects of the smoke exposure on susceptible groups such as the elderly and children. The study aims to explore the Morwell community's well-being, physical and mental health following the fire last year. This analysis will allow the Hazelwood team to create a framework that can be used for other communities following fires such as Hazelwood in the future. 

The Hazelwood Study is fostering strong relationships between the Latrobe Valley community, the local government and community and health service providers through the development of a Community Advisory Committee, allowing all voices to be heard. 

Membership for the community is open till the 16th of February and you can contact the team here: 

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