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Wednesday, 26 November 1980
Page: 35

Senator CAVANAGH - I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health whether he recalls the series of questions 1 asked last year of Senator Guilfoyle, the then Minister representing the Minister for Health, on the rate of deaths from lung cancer of workers at Radium Hill? Does the Minister recall the reply that the investigation was incomplete, and that the Federal Government was financing the research into the matter in order to ascertain true statistical figures? I ask: Was the research done by the South Australian Health Commission? Was it financed by the Federal Government? Has it now been terminated by the South Australian Health Commission as a result of the cessation of funding by the Federal Government? Did the cessation of funding come after the inquiries suggested that there would be an extremely high rate of lung cancer for miners working at Radium Hill?

Senator PETER BAUME - I recall that a series of questions was asked by Senator Cavanagh concerning rates of illness at Radium Hill; he said it concerned the rates of death from lung cancer. 1 do not recall the replies which the honourable senator received. I can check and I certainly can find out what those replies were. The honourable senator asked me for the current status of the study into the events and the current status of funding. 1 do not know the answer. 1 will obtain that information for the honourable senator. I think it is most unlikely that there is any substance to his suggestion that the project ceased because people feared the results. If in fact the results pointed to a health risk I would not regard that as a reason why this Government would wish to cease the study.

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