The State Liberals are demanding the Weatherill Government establish a dedicated hotline and offer free health checks to the residents of Port Augusta to reduce potential adverse health impacts from the fly ash storm that has engulfed the town in the last week.
“The Weatherill Government has admitted that the ash cloud blanketing Port Augusta is a danger to people’s health and should have no hesitation in arranging appropriate health checks for residents of the town,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“With the fly ash cloud containing barium and magnesium the people of Port Augusta need immediate access to information of the health consequences of being exposed to this airborne pollution.
“The Health Department will need to establish a hotline where people can discuss their concerns in the first instance and provide locums to cope with the likely demand for the service.
“Local doctors should be provided with the latest information regarding the potential impact of exposure to fly ash dust and the State Government should cover any payment gap between the Medicare rebate and the doctors fee.
“This community health service for the people of Port Augusta needs to be established immediately.
“Too often the Weatherill Government is flat-footed in its response to health concerns resulting for environmental problems.
“During the Clovelly Park contamination scandal it had to be dragged kicking and screaming to providing appropriate support for the affected residents.
“It’s no coincidence that Minister Hunter was the responsible Minister for the response to both the Clovelly Park contamination scandal and the Port Augusta fly ash storm.”