Friday, 23 February 2018

Williamtown 'swept under the rug' still

BY HANNAH SIMMONS

Newcastle University Student, Jarrod Sansom has a personal connection to the ongoing Williamtown contamination saga after leaving the Cabbage Tree Road farm that has been in the family for six generations.

In 2015, it emerged that Sansom's family property was in the heart of a plume of toxic contamination.

He was devasted to watch his old neighbours suffer after being stranded on worthless properties, on a road that has recorded 50 cancer cases in 15 years.

Both Sansom's grandfather and three of his grandfather's siblings had all died after battling the disease which he later learned was not a result of genetics or family history, but environmental factors.

Sansom was given the opportunity to tell his story after attending a week-long summit in Canberra for the winners of ABC's Heywire competition, which allows young people living in regional Australia to share their stories.

In contrast to other issues addressed - such as mental health and Aboriginal affairs - he felt his story was one with a fixable solution however the nation's leaders are failing to see the significance of the issue and the effects it's having on residents.

Whilst being described as one of the "best weeks" of his life, SANSOM felt his story was just "swept under the rug".

ABC Heywire Winner Jarrod Sansom. Photo: ABC

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