#670: The continuing saga at Toowong
Last Monday’s ABC Australian Story featured some of the women directly affected by breast cancer while working at the ABC studios in Toowong, Queensland. The following news item is taken from that documentary. Next week the second part of the Australian Story two-part documentary will cover the investigation that was undertaken to try and identify any factors from working in the building to the breast cancer cluster.
I was contacted by two ABC reporters and gave reasons why the ELF magnetic field question has to be considered as a possible factor. Colleague, John Lincoln in Sydney was interviewed on film and he should be in the program as well as Dr. Bruce Armstrong and crew.
As ABC management will be editing the final product it will be interesting to see if the ELF question gets the chop or a fair hearing. What one ABC journalist told me is that “a lot of people want to see the ARPANSA ELF report”. In addition Greens Senator Bob Brown brought up the issue of Toowong in the federal Senate on March 1. (See next message for the text of his Question on Notice)
It seems that getting a copy of the full ARPANSA report is on a par with trying to get David Hicks released from Guantinamo. The question on many peoples mind now is why?
13/03/2007 ABC”s cancer victims angry
VICTIMS of a cancer cluster at the ABC”s Brisbane
studios have spoken out against ABC management”s
denial of a problem at the site as they fell like
Journalists Lisa Backhouse, Jo Stone and Nadia Farha
and operations assistant Margaret Stewart have given
their emotional accounts of surviving breast cancer
while working at the place they believe caused their
Thirteen women have been diagnosed with the disease at
the ageing Toowong studios in the past 11 years.
The studios were evacuated late last year after an
independent report found the incidence of breast
cancer was significantly higher than in the general
But no cause was found.
The women have told ABC television”s Australian Story
of the pain of watching their workmates being
diagnosed and their frustration with an unsympathetic
“I”d worked with all these women previously and it was
like watching, you know, going tenpin bowling and
seeing all of these pins being knocked down,” Ms Farha
“Someone would get sick and we would deal with that
and then another person would get sick and then you”re
sort of reliving your experience all over again.”
But ABC news editor Fiona Crawford defended the
claims, saying she was deeply affected by the
diagnosis and had been worried herself as a young
“There were a lot of allegations made that management
wasn”t listening and wasn”t caring. I”m a woman, why
would I be going to work in a workplace that I knew to