LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 4 no 3 Winter ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Vale LEADLINE, welcome Community Lead Advisory Service

by Michelle Calvert and Robin Mosman, Project Officers, NSW CLAS

On 31 May 1996, the Commonwealth government grant which established LEADLINE, the first national community lead advisory service, ceased. In spite of support and vigorous lobbying by members of all 3 major government parties, the medical profession, industry and the general public, the new federal Liberal government did not extend its one year $150,000 grant, which had commenced on 1 June 1995.

A representative of the Federal Minister for Health and Family Services stated: "The funding had been provided to The LEAD Group for a one-year, high profile community based advisory service to complement EPA’s community awareness activities. This has been achieved.

"The referral service provided by The LEAD Group has been an excellent community service which has provided valuable backup to the Government’s community awareness programs. However, given the Government’s present priorities, I do not believe it is appropriate to extend the Commonwealth’s support."

Fortunately for the residents of NSW, the NSW Government has recognised the value of continuing such a service. On 1 June 1996, a grant of $290,000 was made to The LEAD Group to run the NSW Community Lead Advisory Service (CLAS) for thirteen months, with a review at the end of that period.

The Minister for the Environment, Pam Allan, will officially launch CLAS at 10 am on Wednesday, 21st August, 1996.

Advice on any lead related concerns will be dealt with by phone and free written information mail-outs. Free education and outreach programs will be conducted for any community or group in NSW.

"The NSW Government has recognised that lead poisoning is the major environmental health threat facing Australian children today," said Elizabeth O’Brien, Project Coordinator of NSW CLAS.

"The latest studies show that in Sydney alone, 25% of young children living in the inner suburbs have blood lead levels above the national goal.

"These figures could apply to any community in Australia with pre 1970 housing stock with old lead paint. There are 3.7 million such older homes in Australia. This is not to mention mining and smelter communities.

"The Federal government reaped over $152 million last year from motorists by taxing leaded petrol. We asked them for only one thousandth of those earnings to help the estimated 75,000 Australian children damaged by lead," said Ms O’Brien.

"That is just $2 per child. We are hopeful that in the upcoming budget the Federal government will start to address the need for a service to the rest of Australia.

"We are grateful that the NSW Government has recognised the immense importance of highlighting the problem of lead poisoning in the minds of NSW families. Their generous funding will enable us to continue to help lead poisoned individuals and their families and more importantly prevent lead poisoning. We will be able to expand our services to include community outreach and education and hopefully alert people to the dangers, particularly of renovating old homes, before serious health damage is done to family members."

Services provided by NSW CLAS include:

Free information and advice to the general community:

  • State wide Freecall telephone service available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday;

  • Written requests - by mail, fax and internet email.

Free community outreach and education:

  • Free community workshops and meetings for parents of pre-school children available on request throughout NSW;

  • Advice and support to local groups of parents on how to minimise lead risks in your community;

  • Lead information stands at major home shows and expos.

Free written materials:

Lead education materials are available - produced by state and federal government agencies and The LEAD Group;

All written materials are mailed free of charge and contain accurate information about lead issues based on the latest research findings and government requirements;

  • Free information packages for secondary and tertiary student projects;

  • Free general information sets - on lead poisoning, sources of lead hazards and exposure pathways and what you can do to protect your family;

  • Free detailed information sheets on more than 30 topics.

LEAD Action News our quarterly newsletter:

Containing all the latest on lead issues - available by subscription or provided free to low-income earners and groups.

Referral to a wide range of government, private and community-based organisations providing lead services.

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Last Updated 26 November 2012
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