Hazelwood survey deadline looms

AS deadlines approach for completion of the Hazelwood Health Study's Adult Survey, the study team has urged all eligible Sale residents to contribute to the study's findings.

The survey is the largest component of the Monash-led health study which looks at the potential long-term health impacts of the Hazelwood mine fire. Sale has been selected as the 'comparison town' in the study.

Investigator Professor Judi Walker said it was critical the study be able to compare the health of Morwell residents with that of a Gippsland town that was minimally exposed to the six-week smoke event.

So far, of the 4000 Sale residents invited to participate in the adult survey, only about 16 per cent have chosen to do so.

The study team is keen to see this figure increase. While residents can still participate by paper questionnaire until the end of January 2017, the opportunity to complete the survey by phone or on-ine closes next Friday, November 25.

"Data collected as part of this study will be used to inform governments about future health service planning needs across all of Gippsland, including Sale, but at present we know very little about the health of 84 per cent of the Sale adults we have targeted," Professor Walker said.

To ease the process, the study team will be at Gippsland Centre Sale on Wednesday, December 7 between 10am and 2pm assisting eligible residents to complete the adult survey 'on the spot' while they enjoy a free coffee or tea.

A study team member will also be at the Sale Library every Tuesday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm to help residents with the survey and provide additional information about the study.

Paper surveys are now available across public venues in the town, including Wellington Shire Council, the Sale library, health and medical clinics, Latrobe Community Health and the Sale Neighbourhood House.

Professor Walker said recruitment numbers were particularly low with residents aged in their 20s and 50s, so participants in these age groups are most sought after. For more information on the adult survey, phone 1800 985 899.

People who participate in the survey will be compensated for their time with a $20 Shop in Sale e-voucher, redeemable at a range of local businesses.

An annual Hazelwood Health Study briefing will be held at the Morwell Bowls Club on Tuesday, November 29, from 7pm until 9pm.


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