- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Coal dust testing shows need for Senate Inquiry


An alliance of 18 community groups, the Coalition Terminal Action Group, today released the results of community-funded testing of air quality in residential areas along the coal corridor in the Hunter.

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, said the results show precisely why the Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry into the health impacts of air quality was so important.

"This report from the Hunter clearly show why we need a Senate Inquiry into the impacts of air quality on health," said Senator Di Natale.

The test results, which have been analysed by leading academics in the area, indicate that the levels of coal dust exceeded national standards on five of the seven days in which testing occurred.

"It's very disappointing to learn that that the national standards are being so frequently exceeded and it's even more disappointing that it has been left to the community to fund such a study.

"We know that coal dust can have an enormous impact on health - it can lead to severe respiratory conditions and even lung cancer. The fact that our air quality standards are so weak and that those standards are so poorly tested for and policed is indefensible.

"Both old parties are so unwilling to stand up to the big mining companies that they haven't even put in place the most basic safeguards to protect the health of communities.

"The Greens will always prioritise the health of people over the demands of Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer, and that's why I pushed for a Senate Inquiry into the health impacts of air quality. We cannot afford to ignore the this issue any longer.

"This issue is not confined to the Hunter, it should certainly be of national concern. I hope the inquiry will holding hearings in the Hunter and other areas acutely affected by coal dust."

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