Dec 1, 2008 - Brumby Apologizes to Asbestos Victims
At a ceremony at the Centenary Rose Garden in Morwell, Victorian Premier John Brumby issued an official apology to former power workers and their families who have suffered from diseases caused by exposure to asbestos.
Thousands of power workers contracted asbestos-related diseases after exposure at the Victoria region’s power stations. The State Electricity Commission (SECV) operated stations in the valley between the 1920s and 1980s, exposing power workers to asbestos, many of whom developed lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is an incurable, fatal form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. Washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can also put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma.
Mr. Brumby made a similar apology in October of this year during a special sitting of the Parliament in the Latrobe Valley stating, “The government sincerely apologizes to the workers and their families for the injuries caused by asbestos exposure at the former SECV.” He went on to say that legislation would be introduced to establish an Asbestos Diseases Compensation Fund for workers and family members who had been exposed.