Of the many pending approvals of new mines in NSW, DEA made submissions on these interrelated mines for two reasons. Firstly, because of the potential health impacts; the extension of the Warkworth Mine brings mining operations and pollution closer to the village of Bulga and the related Mt Thorley Mine extension contributes to significantly longer operations at the site.
As a body of medical professionals, DEA is an interested stakeholder due to our interest and expertise on the intersection of health, environmental threats and damage to natural ecosystems such as High Conservation Value (HCV) Forests. Our Tasmanian members and their patients could well be affected by management activities which may harm human health. Furthermore, DEA acts as a key public health voice in the sphere of environmental health including air pollution, water pollution, and on the health effects of climate change and the value of nature for human well-being.
DEA Hazelwood Mine Fire Submission - May 2014. The Hazelwood Coal Mine Fires of 2014 have heightened public awareness and concern in relation to the adverse health implications from our coal industries. This fire was unique in its extent and durations however authorities should acknowledge and address the inadequate monitoring and health research concerning exposure of Latrobe Valley residents to coal pollutants over the past decades. Furthermore it is not in the interests of Victoria to continue with coal developments in view of their serious health effects locally and globally and the economic need to enter the worldwide transition to renewable energies. From a public health or public financing perspective coal is not a cheap energy source, with communities and tax payers paying dearly once the health and environmental impacts are adequately considered.
DEA welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Terms of Reference of this inquiry. Our position is based solely on our duty to examine the evidence and speak out to benefit the present and future health of our patients, the community. While this inquiry is solely related to hydraulic fracturing which is used in the extraction of unconventional gas deposits, there are other environmental and health concerns with unconventional gas that are not addressed in the terms of reference for this inquiry.
We contend that delegating environmental approval powers to state and territory governments carries significant potential to compromise human health. We will present evidence that State and Territory health assessments as part of the EIS process are already flawed on many occasions and further delegation of powers is unwise.
DEA asks governments to consider the public health impacts and health costs for present and future generations of our energy policies. This is particularly relevant at a time when both State and Federal Governments are making key energy decisions and creating policy settings that will determine our energy sources and efficiencies for the future. DEA, and members individually, have been actively involved in working towards the improvement of the environmental footprint of our health care for sometime. DEA made an extensive submission ʻSustainable Hospitals – response to the Victorian Government Green Paper in 2009 and has presented and written on this subject through many forums, including professional medical conferences, hospital meetings and peer reviewed journals.....
It is important to be mindful of the fact that our health, physical and mental, is dependent on our environment. There are many and various pathways by which environmental change can and does impact human health in both the short and long term. This includes how we design our built environment, generate energy, organise health services and transport infrastructure; there is also a strong interrelationship between all of these systems. In particular, urban transport infrastructure and consequently the modes of transport we use, have a range of both direct and indirect health impacts.
The Environmental Impact Statement does not contain any evaluation as to whether the project is of value to the community; it deals only with projected economic gain and avoids projected economic loss from health and agricultural impacts and from resource consumption which might have more sustainable uses........
Planning Australia’s future energy landscape well in advance provides important opportunities to address challenges facing us and maximize energy efficiency, and security, as well as health and environmental co-benefits. However, we find the Energy White Paper (EWP) significantly flawed due to omissions or failure to consider the following important factors:......
The Great Barrier Reef is of “natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and is of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity” (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO). A healthy reef provides multiple benefits directly and indirectly to humans via marine biodiversity, tourism and the fishing industry and indeed human health depends in part on sustainable fulfilling employment and is linked to the health of the reef. The loss of the Great Barrier Reef will have adverse long term effects on the health and well being of Queenslanders and the nation. The loss will be economic through damage to the tourism industry, fishing and recreation which presently provide sustainable employment. There will also be direct health impacts resulting from toxic industries deployed adjacent to coast waters. The fundamental cause of this developing scenario is a government failure of understanding and regulation and unwillingness to address the problems of development because of the short term economic gains they provide.
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Doctors for the Environment Australia aims to utilise the skills of members of the medical profession to address the ill health resulting from damage to the natural environmentWatch Video
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