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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

18 November 2005

Australian Government support for lead advice line


Advice on reducing the harmful health and environmental effects of lead is still only a freecall away, thanks to a $25,000 rescue package announced today by Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

Senator Campbell said the funding would allow volunteers involved with the Global Lead Advice and Support Service to maintain a web site and telephone service that provides counseling and referrals for lead poisoning and lead contamination prevention.

The Service is an initiative of the Lead Education and Abatement Design (LEAD) Group – Australia's only volunteer organisation dedicated to providing the community with advice on how to safely manage lead.

Senator Campbell said the funding package would help to continue the work of the LEAD Group.

"The LEAD Group has helped tens of thousands of Australians in the past 10 years through its freecall lead advice and support service," Senator Campbell said.

"This outstanding service must be allowed to continue so Australians can get the help they need to identify and manage sources of lead that pose a health and environmental risk."

Senator Campbell acknowledged the dedication of the Group's volunteers who answer telephone enquiries, maintain a comprehensive library and web site with a wealth of information about lead and practical lead abatement strategies.

"This web site has attracted more than 230,000 visitors from 175 countries – a testament to the value of this service not only within Australia but also internationally," he said.

Major sources of lead include lead smelters, mining operations and battery recycling. Large amounts of lead in the body can cause a range of health problems, including pain in joints and muscles, anaemia, nausea, sleep or concentration problems, headaches and high blood pressure.

Over the past decade the Australian Government has undertaken a range of initiatives to significantly reduce lead in products and the amount of lead pollution.

For more information visit www.deh.gov.au/settlements/chemicals/lead.html, or call the Department of the Environment and Heritage's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772.

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell’s office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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