Coalmine fire link to deaths

Queensland University of Technology Associate Professor Adrian Barnett said he broke down data on deaths in four postcodes affected by the 45-day Hazelwood mine fire near Morwell in the Latrobe Valley in February-March this year.

“I ran a very straightforward statistical model and came up with an estimate there was an 89% probability of an increased death rate and between 11 and 14 deaths above what we would expect,” he told MO.

The study compared February-March data over the past five years. The raw data was obtained from Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria by Voices of the Valley, a community group, and passed to Professor Barnett for interpretation by an ABC journalist.

In response, however, Health Minister David Davis labelled Professor Barnett in parliament as “a person who has clearly entered the political fray with misleading and inaccurate information” and who wanted to “close down coal mining in the

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