The Health News – 30 June 2015

Overview:

• The Kanagulk Landcare Group in south-western Victoria has placed four radon gas monitors at properties surrounding Iluka Resources’ mining operations at Douglas over a three-month period. And it has shows levels of radioactive gas at a mine near Horsham far exceed the maximum for public exposure.

• Chief executive officer Jerril Rechter said that Victorians are not getting fit because of a lack of motivation, rather than a lack of time.

• Alternative communication methods and an assistant to help people with a disability communicate during court cases are just two reforms included in a bill that has passed South Australia’s Lower House.

Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 30th June 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-29/fears-aired-over-radioactive-gas-levels-at-wimmera/6579670

A Wimmera Landcare group in south-western Victoria says monitoring it has done shows levels of radioactive gas at a mine near Horsham far exceed the maximum for public exposure.

The Kanagulk Landcare Group placed four radon gas monitors at properties surrounding Iluka Resources’ mining operations at Douglas over a three-month period.
It said analysis of the monitors’ data by Australia’s nuclear industry regulator, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, reveals levels of the gas were four times the limit.
The group’s Albert Miller said the State Government needed to step in.

Mr Miller said the Department of Health needed to investigate.
“Without quoting all the numbers … [they] show that the exposure just to that radiation alone is about four times what the State Government has set as a maximum limit that can affect the public,” he said.
“Because the figures are so high you have to actually do some testing with these monitors to see how far that spread of radon gas goes.” [he said]

Iluka Resources’ manager of eastern operations, Dan McGrath, said the measurements and the sampling of the data were flawed.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-29/lack-of-motivation-preventing-people-from-getting-fit-vichealth/6580190

Victorians are not getting fit because of a lack of motivation, rather than a lack of time, a VicHealth survey says.

Chief executive officer Jerril Rechter said that was a surprise because traditionally people blamed their inactivity on a lack of time.
The survey of 2,018 Victorians found 51 per cent agreed a lack of motivation got in the way of them becoming more active and it was more of a problem for women than men.

VicHealth said there was a need to “dispel the idea” that being active is too expensive and time consuming and is running the TeamUp campaign to encourage Victorians to get a buddy and get more active.
People should exercise on average for about 30 minutes a day.
“It can be just going for a walk around the park, taking your dog for a walk or just having a walking meeting at work,” Ms Rechter said.
“It doesn’t have to be the high, high level. But it is important to increase your heart rate a couple of times a week.” [she said]

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-29/improved-communications-included-bill-protect-people-disability/6579710

Alternative communication methods and an assistant to help people with a disability communicate during court cases are just two reforms included in a bill that has passed South Australia’s Lower House.

The bill, which recommends a range of reforms, is also likely to pass the Upper House this week and will allow hearsay witnesses, such as a teacher or caregiver, to give evidence in some cases.
The changes have been prompted by a case which saw an alleged paedophile walk free without a trial because the children were seen as unreliable witnesses.
Seven children with intellectual disabilities were allegedly abused by the man, who was their bus driver in 2010.
The mother of one of the children, … said her son only had 20 words at the time and used sign language to indicate what had happened to him.

Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent said the justice system was playing catch-up.
“In the same way that we would allow sign language interpreter[s] in court or an interpreter for someone who’s first language is not English, we do need to expand our methodologies to allow for these communication partners as well,” Ms Vincent said.

Ms Vincent believed more needed to be done, not only in South Australia but also in other states, to ensure people with a disability were being properly heard within the justice system.

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