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Ausgrid rejects expansion reports

Posted by on 21/09/2019

AUSGRID has confirmed there are no plans to expand its substation site in Hamilton South after residents raised concerns it could be responsible for a cancer cluster.
Shanghai night field

The Newcastle Herald reported last Monday residents had raised concerns after four people died of cancer in the neighbourhood in the past five years.

Julie Galli has lived next door to the Hamilton South substation with her family for 34 years and said her mother, sister and pet dog all developed cancers.

Following the story there were reports Ausgrid had planned to expand the Glebe Road substation, which a company spokeswoman said was untrue.

‘‘If that changes in the future, we will consult directly with residents,’’ she said.

The company has also moved to allay residents’ concerns about electromagnetic field readings it took last week after they aired their fears.

Residents had suggested the company measured only around the newer of the two substations on site.

A company spokeswoman said it took measurements near the older of two substations on the site – along Douglas Way – when it investigated.

‘‘The readings there were all below one milliGauss. The National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines recommend a public exposure limit of 1000milliGauss,’’ she said.

The Cancer Council Hunter has also clarified its position on EMF.

Cancer Council NSW Hunter manager Shayne Connell said electromagnetic fields completely dissipated 200 metres away from a powerline, and inside that field it was still significantly low.

‘‘It is less than people expect,’’ he said.

A field of one milliGauss is less than most household appliances, like televisions, computers or refrigerators.

‘‘Even residents within that field have levels significantly lower than national standards.’’

Hunter New England Health public health physician David Durrheim said they had spoken with residents and continued to confirm details of reported cancer diagnoses.

‘‘The variety of cancers that have been reported so far are not known to share common risk factors,’’ he said.

‘‘The International Agency for Research on Cancer does not currently classify exposure to low frequency electromagnetic fields as a proven cancer risk.’’

Concerned residents have been encouraged to contact Population Health.

Population Health

49246499

Julie Galli fears the substation is a risk.

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