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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 772..


Electromagnetic radiation and leukaemia

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the minister for health. Does the minister share the same dismissive attitude as his colleague the Deputy Chief Minister to research suggesting a link between electromagnetic radiation issued from high-voltage transmission powerlines and leukaemia in children? If Mr Smyth is not aware of the new British research, is Mr Moore, as health minister, aware of it?

MR MOORE: Perhaps I can answer the question. The question was whether I am as dismissive of this study. I do not perceive that Mr Smyth was dismissive of the study. He paid particular attention to it and answered a question yesterday. I am not dismissive of the study either, but it is one epidemiological study. In the preamble to the question asked yesterday there was a suggestion that it was akin to smoking. No, it was not akin to the results of that first epidemiological study on smoking, which made very clear the damage from smoking.

I have heard-I have not checked this myself and I will need to do that-that even the researcher himself has said that his study is not conclusive evidence. We still do not have conclusive evidence that would bring about enough concern for me to say we need to move people out of housing they are currently in.

With the way the ACT has been planned-certainly with our newer suburbs having underground wiring-we should have reason to be very proud. High-tension cables, to the best of my knowledge, do not run over the top of any housing in the ACT. If there is a place where that happens, I would be interested to know. We always make sure that we are reasonably cautious about these things. Should we get a greater concern than at the moment, we would ask our Health Protection Service to look at that study carefully and to look at any areas in the ACT where it might apply, and take the appropriate action.

MR HARGREAVES: I cannot tell you how encouraged I am by that answer. My supplementary question is: after you have read the report-no doubt you will do that very quickly-will you reinforce the warning issued by your federal counterpart, Dr Wooldridge, for parents to keep young children away from powerlines? Will the government review powerline siting in the ACT in view of this research?

MR MOORE: We will look at the report and make an assessment of that study and the calibre of that study and other studies in this area.

Burnie Court redevelopment

MS TUCKER: My question, which is to the minister for housing, is in regard to the latest plans for the redevelopment of Burnie Court. The consultant responsible for the master planning process for the redevelopment of Burnie Court told the public meeting last Saturday week that all decisions on the proportion of public to private housing and on specific policies for public housing at the site would be made by the government after the current master planning process. However, the Lyons Community Association claimed in a newsletter distributed to all residents of Lyons prior to that consultation meeting that certain agreements had been reached with ACT Housing in relation to future housing at the Burnie Court site and they included a reduction of 70 per cent in the public housing, no publicly funded games or meeting room, no-dogs policies and no-


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