Chief Health Officer's report on Bellarine Peninsula cancer rates

Thursday, 31 January 2019 6:03 PM




Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has undertaken a review of cancer rates on the Bellarine Peninsula following concerns about a potential cancer cluster and historical use of the pesticide dieldrin in the area. This concern was particularly focused on cancers in young people.

Analysis has found no evidence of a higher rate of total cancers, breast or liver cancer, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, brain cancers or non-Hodgkin lymphoma in any geographical areas of the Bellarine Peninsula than elsewhere in Australia.

Current scientific research does not suggest an association between dieldrin and the types of cancer that have been reported in the media.

Cancer in young people is unusual and particularly distressing. It is often difficult to identify a cause or to find explanation for the illness in children and young adults. Memories of these cases remain deep in communities and families for many years or a lifetime.

Together with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), we are committed to working with the community to ensure that their concerns are conscientiously addresses, and appropriate reassurance and support is provided.

Read the full report

The Chief Health Officer’s report – Cancer rates on the Bellarine Peninsula, January 2019

Open House information session

Date: Monday 25 February
Time: 3.00pm – 7.00pm
Location: 13th Beach Golf Links, 1732 Barwon Heads Road, Barwon Heads VIC 3227

While it is hoped that the results of Chief Health Officer report provide some reassurance, it is also recognised that some community members may still seek further information.

An opportunity to discuss the report will therefore be provided at an open house event on Monday 25 February. The event will operate as a drop-in session, with community members welcome to attend any time between 3.00pm and 7.00pm.

Representatives from the DHHS will present the findings of the research and an overview of other work done to date. This event will provide the community with an opportunity to speak with experts.

For general information about different kinds of cancers, visit

If you have concerns about your health, or the health of your family, we encourage you to visit your doctor to discuss this further.

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Page last updated: Monday, 4 February 2019