Putting The Health Of The Latrobe Valley First

03 October 2016

The Latrobe Health Assembly will be up and running by the end of the year with the Andrews Labor Government today calling on community members to register their interest to be part of the new 40 member Assembly.

Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, today joined newly appointed Latrobe Health Assembly Chair, Professor John Catford in the Latrobe Valley to encourage community members to register their interest.

The call for expressions of interest coincides with the Labor Government formally approving the governance structures for the new Assembly.

The Assembly, a key recommendation from the re-opened Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, will be an incorporated association – independent of Government – with a unique governance structure of more than 40 members.

It will be as diverse as the Valley itself, with representatives of all ages from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, community groups, businesses and interests. Community members will form majority membership and an Executive Board will be established to support the governance of the Assembly.

The Assembly will be up and running before the end of the year, in time to receive the first results of the project testing ash residue in the roofs of Morwell homes.

Testing of 50 homes commenced this week and results will be shared with the community and the Latrobe Health Assembly in December.

In line with the re-opened Mine Fire Inquiry recommendations, the Government today responded to the independent review of the Hazelwood Long Term Health Study.

In response to the review, the Government will:

  • Establish the Hazelwood Health Study Ministerial Advisory Committee to ensure independent oversight, transparency and better engagement with the community
  • The Committee will work side by side with the Latrobe Health Assembly to make better use of data and ensure findings are shared with the community, health practitioners and health planners
  • Develop a program to improve health outcomes of first responders and gain a better understanding of health impacts of working in emergency services, recognising the review finding that expanding the existing study is not the best way to improve health outcomes for first responders
  • Consider carbon monoxide as part of the existing study.

As part of the Labor Government’s ongoing work to improve the health and well-being of current and future generations living in the Valley, $1.2 million will go towards increasing screening and early detection initiatives for diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and to help reduce smoking rates.

Community members can learn more about screening services available at the upcoming Latrobe Regional Hospital screening day on Thursday 17 November at Mid Valley Shopping Centre in Morwell.

This will kick off a rolling series of locally based events and activities that will be developed with the community and the Assembly to increase early detection and screening.

To register an expression of interest in the Latrobe Health Assembly email

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We promised we would work side by side with the community to rebuild the health of the Valley – and we’re doing just that.”

The new Latrobe Health Assembly will put the health and well-being of families in the Valley front and centre.”

Quotes attributable to the Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“We are keeping the community informed every step of the way – unlike the former Coalition Government who abandoned them when they needed them the most.”

“With testing of ash residues in roof cavities now underway, residents can be assured we’re taking further action to fully understand and mitigate the health impacts of the mine fire.”

Quotes attributable to the Chair of the Latrobe Health Taskforce Professor John Catford

“The work of the Latrobe Health Taskforce is well underway and this is an exciting and important step as we move to establish the Latrobe Health Assembly.”

“The Assembly will work with Latrobe communities in new and innovative ways to improve health and wellbeing."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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