Cancer cluster inquiry is now open for public hearings

January 20, 2021 BY

Discovery 3227 have been investigating a possible cancer cluster in Barwon Heads for two years. Photo: Ross Harrison.

A DATE has been set for Barwon Heads locals to tell their story as the inquiry into a possible cancer cluster progresses.

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee will hold a public hearing on February 10 as a part of the on-going investigations.

Senator Sarah Henderson has today called on residents wanting to give evidence to register their interest now.

“This is an opportunity for people effected and those with local knowledge to tell their story,” Ms Henderson said.

“We have heard from a range of experts who have assisted the committee and it is now time to hear from more locals to better understand their personal account.”

In early 2020 a judicial inquiry was opened to investigate an alarming number of cancer and auto-immune cases occurring amongst residents of Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove.

A local investigative team, Discovery 3227, say the cause is a mosquito spraying program ran by the City of South Barwon and the City of Greater Geelong from the mid-1980s to 2012, that utilised a chemical called malathion.

Malathion has been linked to cancers such as Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, brain and breast cancer as well as autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s disease and Lupus.

Discovery 3227 said those living near the 54-acre park commonly referred to as “The Muddies” as well as children of Barwon Heads Primary School have experienced abnormally high rates of cancer and autoimmune diseases as a result of the regular spraying of pesticides during that time.

The location of the hearing is yet to be confirmed however public access will be allowed as well audio and video access to be provided online.

Requests to speak to the committee will be processed in the order they are received until all the available times are filled.

Those interested in registering to give evidence can email the committee for further details at [email protected]

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