Letters to the editor | May 15, 2017

ACTIVE: Youngsters were among the people warming up at Sawyer Park in Horsham on Sunday ahead of the Mother's Day Classic run and walk. Picture: OLIVIA PAGE
ACTIVE: Youngsters were among the people warming up at Sawyer Park in Horsham on Sunday ahead of the Mother's Day Classic run and walk. Picture: OLIVIA PAGE

Campaign targets Q fever

THE livestock industry loses 1700 weeks in productivity each year and millions of dollars across the supply chain due to a lack of understanding around Q fever. 

The Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group is set to launch an awareness campaign hitting home the seriousness of Q Fever as a drain on the livestock supply chain.

The $100,000 campaign includes industry workshops, preparedness toolkits and targeted advertising to promote the dangers of Q fever and the importance of vaccination.

Q fever is carried by cattle, sheep, goats, feral animals and rodents, and can be transmitted to humans. It affects farmers, farm employees, shearers, animal carriers, abattoir workers, meat inspectors and vets.

Q fever is a massive issue with about 600 cases reported across Australia each year, costing the industry millions of dollars annually in lost productivity, medical costs and other expenses.

It costs the meat industry alone at least $ 1 million every year, and when you add that up across all the livestock industries, it’s pretty significant and really underscores the importance of getting your employees vaccinated.

The vaccine is 96 to 98 per cent effective for cases vaccinated during incubation and totally effective when it’s not.

It’s a one-off expense that becomes a worthy investment when you consider the lost productivity, health problems, and potential legal issues you risk if you don’t get staff inoculated.

I encourage livestock industry employers to come to VFF-run events and do their part to minimise the risks of contracting Q fever by staying on top of the latest information about the disease.

This campaign will give the whole supply chain an opportunity to improve their knowledge of Q fever.

Leonard Vallance, president, Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group

New bills to Parliament

THIS month, the following Bills were introduced to the Victorian Parliament which may be of interest to residents across the Lowan electorate.

The Bills are:

  • State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2017
  • Corrections Legislation Miscellaneous Amendment Bill 2017
  • Sex Offenders Registration Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2017

More information on the proposed Bills can be found at www.parliament.vic.gov.au/legislation

Please contact my office if you need help accessing this information.

Emma Kealy, Member for Lowan

The forgotten cancer

CANCER Council Victoria is calling for urgent action on brain cancer, as survival rates for the deadly disease show no signs of improvement.

The “forgotten cancer” claims on average 26 Australian lives every week, and is the leading cancer killer for children under the age of 15, and young people under 39-years-old.

More than 1300 lives are lost nationally each year to brain cancer but the adult survival rate five years after diagnosis is just 22 per cent, compared to 90 per cent for breast cancer and 95 per cent for prostate cancer.

We have come so far in Victoria, with two-in-three people surviving for at least five years after a cancer diagnosis.

But cancers with high mortality rates, like brain cancer, are being left behind and we must see greater funding for dedicated research.

Cancer Council Victoria hosted a forum on Friday for Melbourne brain cancer patients and their families.

The forum offered advice on issues such as insurance, rehab and returning to work and will also touch on the psychological challenges of a brain cancer diagnosis.

Todd Harper, chief executive, Cancer Council Victoria 

This story Letters to the editor | May 15, 2017 first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.