Lung bus squad Baryulgil-bound

By LEIGH PRITCHARD

FORMER Baryulgil asbestos miners and their families will have a nervous wait until the lung bus arrives at the Aboriginal community to screen for asbestos-related diseases.

The occupational respiratory screening unit, operated by the Dust Disease Board, will be located at the square on March 7-9.

Radiographer and lung bus manager Bert Plamondon said the bus travelled around New South Wales.

CEO of the Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Service, Gloria Strachan, said up to 200 workers and their families were expected to use the service.

"It is really difficult, the Baryulgil miners have been forgotten, very few got compensation," Mrs Strachan said.

"Asbestos was used all around Baryulgil, you can't escape it."

She said Asbestos Disease Foundation of Australia president Barry Robson would be a guest speaker at a public meeting in Grafton, organised to coincide with the bus's arrival.

Mr Robson said the Carr Government had agreed to fund the service.

He said the mine was open from 1944 to 1976.

"They can't get treatment because there is no cure, they can only seek compensation from the Dust Diseases Tribunal.

"It only takes one fibre, it is that dangerous," he said.

People who worked at the Baryulgil mines in the 1940s-70s can contact the Aboriginal Medical Services to arrange a free screening.



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