“What’s going to happen when we get sick?” – Tracie, community worker in Morwell
Morwell residents are sick and they’re still without answers. After 45 days breathing air contaminated with carbon monoxide, carcinogens and other toxic fumes, the journey may have only just begun.
The fumes from Hazelwood Mine’s burning coal fields have already caused headaches, bleeding noses, persisting coughs, infection and reported heart problems. But what Morwell’s 14,000 residents are really desperate for is information about what health problems may come in five, ten or twenty years.
Watch this video to hear residents speak out about their experience:
Morwell residents still don’t have any answers. Not even Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Rosemary Lester, can say what health problems such long exposure to toxic air will cause. Residents have implored Ms Lester to call an inquiry into the long-term impact of the fire, but so far she’s hesitated to do so.
An inquiry is the community’s only path to gaining control over what the future brings, but Ms Lester has said she’ll only approve one if there’s enough support.
In a final bid to persuade Ms Lester to act, Morwell residents have spoken out about what life was like during the fire and launched a campaign calling for an inquiry. Leading this campaign is local community worker Tracie, who, with the help of the community, has already collected over 13,800 signatures on her CommunityRun petition. The town is doing everything it can to get behind this, but they can’t win it alone.
Their request is simple: please sign Tracie’s petition. Every signature counts and will put nationwide pressure on Ms Lester to call an inquiry.
Sign the petition: http://www.communityrun.org/p/morwell
Residents of Morwell feel they’re being ignored because they come from a small, working class town. But they’re not alone – no one wants to live in a country where the type of town you live in affects your access to essential health information.
Let’s send that message now,
Emma, for the GetUp team
PS – Tracie launched her petition on CommunityRun, a tool built and powered by GetUp. CommunityRun allows people to start, run and deliver their own campaign on the issues they care about. To learn more about CommunityRun visit http://www.communityrun.org