The fact that almost 20 Ballarat people have signed up for a potential class action following revelations that they were exposed to toxic chemicals at the CFA’s Fiskville training base shows the need to get to the bottom of the matter.
In yesterday’s edition of The Courier, Warren Pinkerton blamed Fiskville for the death of his father, Colin, who died from multiple myeloma four years ago following a career as a trainer at Fiskville in the 1970s and 1980s.
The CFA, to its credit, is undergoing a program of health checks of more than 250 firefighters who may have been subjected to chemical exposure while at Fiskville.
While it is undecided whether a class action will go ahead, a Melbourne law firm is handling more than 200 cases for people from across the state who claim to have been adversely affected.
There is an eerie similarity between this story and that from earlier this year when former RAAF firefighters claimed rising cancer rates were caused by years of burning chemicals in pits on bases as widespread as Point Cook and Townsville. In August 2011, it was announced that $27 million would be spent on environmental remedial works at Point Cook.
It would be good to put an end to the uncertainty over Fiskville.
A week is a long time in football
As we approach what is arguably the biggest day on the Australian sport calendar, Saturday’s AFL grand final between Hawthorn and Sydney, in that short space of time the football world has mourned the loss of one of its own, John McCarthy, and celebrated the success of another, Jobe Watson.
McCarthy, a former Collingwood player, died in a tragic accidental fall from a Las Vegas hotel while on an end-of-season trip with his current club Port Adelaide.
Star Essendon player Watson was a clear and popular winner of the AFL’s most coveted award, the Brownlow medal, on Monday night.
In his erudite acceptance speech, a somewhat humble Watson showed why he will be a worthy flag-bearer for the game of football in the next 12 months.