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Ep 12 - Professor Cathy Banwell ANU Canberra "Obviously people had concerns about their physical health. One of the things that was said by many people was that they felt "stuck"
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This episode is an interview with Professor Cathy Banwell. We discuss the Focus Group Study Report that was released by ANU Canberra on 19 March, 2019. This report is one component of the PFAS Health Study which is being conducted by ANU Canberra. Professor Banwell is a Co-Investigator on the PFAS Health Study and was the Lead of the Focus Groups. Focus groups were conducted in three communities, Katherine (NT) Williamtown (NSW) and Oakey (QLD). These three communities are the only communities the ANU has been commissioned to work in, even though there are many sites in Australia, including 27 Defence bases which have been or are currently being investigated for PFAS. Additional focus groups were held in three Aboriginal communities on the outskirts of Katherine and also separate focus groups were held in Williamtown, Oakey and Katherine for Defence personnel, contractors and their families. This report provides more detail of the many social, physical, financial, mental and emotional effects PFAS is having on communities. The Australian Government now has recommendations from two PFAS Inquiries conducted in Australia in 2015 & 2018 and now the ANU Focus Group Study Report to inform their decision making and hopefully help them respond to the many communities around Australia who are struggling with the many effects of PFAS contamination on and around their properties. The Australian Government is still due to respond to the recent 2018 PFAS Inquiry.