Qld Health says flood link to Grantham cancers 'unlikely'
QUEENSLAND'S Department of Health say they will investigate the Grantham "cancer cluster" claims but believe any link to the 2011 floods is highly unlikely.
A spokesperson for Health Minister Lawrence Springborg told the Gatton Star they were taking the matter seriously.
"Any time someone mentions the term 'cancer cluster', we don't ignore it, even if only one or two people are making the claim," the spokesperson said.
"However, we have discussed this with Queensland's Chief Health Officer who said the likelihood of any link to the 2011 floods is miniscule."
The spokesperson said West Moreton Health Board would lead the investigation into the claims, aired in a Channel Seven news report last week.
"We will leave no stone unturned in this investigation," he said.
"Grantham and the Lockyer Valley is the prime source of food for eastern Australia."
This concern over the threat to food production is shared by Lockyer Valley Regional Council which passed a motion yesterday asking Premier Campbell Newman to urgently investigate the claims.
Cr Derek Pingel called the claims "baseless accusations" and said they had the potential to do massive damage to the local economy.
"Let's keep this in perspective 10 people with cancer in 200 is less than the Australian average," Cr Pingel said.
"I know for a fact that one of the ten people was diagnosed with cancer before the floods."
He urged council to take immediate action while the story was still in the public eye.
"This has every reason to be disastrous for the shire," he said.
"This is just a scandalous allegation by a few for ulterior motives."
Cr Janice Holstein said stress was a significant factor in causing cancer.
"People with cancer need our support but so do our farmers," she said.
The council passed a motion for the State Government to investigate the issue and report back to council within 48 hours.