Katter MP wants probe into CSG links to cancer cluster

Katter's Australian Party Ray Hopper speaking in parliament.
Katter's Australian Party Ray Hopper speaking in parliament. Greg Miller

UPDATE: Ducklo resident Luigi Morrison, one of three people diagnosed with prostate cancer living near a coal seam gas evaporation pond, said he is right behind Ray Hopper's call for an investigation into the cases.

He said while his specialist had told him a link between coal seam gas activity and his pancreatic cancer would be "difficult to prove", he believed the evaporation pond's proximity and chemicals in the water were part of the cause.

"It would be a major coincidence," he said.

"I might be wrong, but if I'm right, it's going to save some lives."

Professor Jack Ng from the University of Queensland's National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology said to his knowledge, there was no evidence that pancreatic cancer was linked to coal seam gas.

"To build a case around CSG would be mighty, mighty difficult," he said.

EARLIER: Condamine MP Ray Hopper has called for an investigation into whether three cases of terminal cancer are linked to coal seam gas activities west of Toowoomba.

One of the cancer sufferers has since died.

Mr Hopper called on Health Minister Lawrence Springborg in parliament on Wednesday to investigate whether coal seam gas was linked to the cancer cluster.

The three people were living within 4km of a coal seam gas evaporation pond near Ducklo, 100km west of Toowoomba.

"Sadly, one person has died and two others have been given just months to live," Mr Hopper said in parliament.

"Will the minister guarantee a full  investigation of their concerns in this situation?"

Mr Hopper said that one of the victims had been told by doctors he would "not live to see Christmas".

>> Gas field residents complain of bleeding noses, head-aches ...

Mr Springborg said public health officials would look into the matter, but rejected a link between the CSG pond and the illnesses.

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"When people suffer various illnesses and ailments, there can be a whole range of causes, whether they be genetic, environmental or the result of a whole range of other issues and factors," he said.

"The circumstances of that can also diminish enormously when distances such as that are involved."

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