Whilst Doctors for the Environment Australia addresses public health issues pertaining particularly to environmental causes of ill health, it is clear that good health exists within the wider context of sustainability and preservation of ecological support systems. On this basis we must make comment.
DEA is concerned that the Commission has not recognised the importance of protecting human health in its considerations. In our submission, we describe the need for improved regulatory outcomes and the risks associated with reforms that do not achieve this.
Doctors for the Environment Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the impacts on health of air quality in Australia, as this is an important public health issue to which inadequate attention has been paid to date.
In the Draft State Public Health Plan, the focus of the climate change priority must move from its current focus on adaptation to emphasize the urgency and priority of mitigation, with clear strategies outlined for various government and business groups.
Open-cut and underground coal mine with a yield of 60 million tonnes per annum (from 2022); and railway line. http://www.dlg.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/carmichael-coal-mine-and-rail-project.html
Expansion of the existing New Acland open-cut coal mine, from 4.8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to up to 7.5 Mtpa. http://www.dlg.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/new-acland-coal-mine-stage-3-expansion.html
Progressive development of coal seam gas resources in Surat and Bowen basins. http://www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/santos-glng-gas-field-development-project.html
Doctors for the Environment Australia welcomes the opportunity to highlight to the Committee that the present level of national and international action on climate change, which is contributing to the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, is so inadequate that we are accelerating towards a 4C rise in global average temperature by the end of this century (WB, 2012). If we continue on this trajectory then we have to consider how we are to live with this rapidly changing world and the damage to vital infrastructure, and in particular the subsequent health implications.
The NSW Branch of Doctors for the Environment Australia has prepared this submission on behalf of the wider organization in order to strongly object to this proposed development, which we believe would be detrimental to the health and well-being of current and future NSW residents. Health is not merely absence of disease, but is also determined by a range of factors such as clean air, safe food and water, uncontaminated land and socially cohesive communities with healthy natural environments. Our objections relate to impacts that have the potential to undermine these determinants of health.
Almost a quarter of the disease burden and deaths in the world can be attributed to environmental factors. We cannot begin to alleviate this burden of ill-health unless we address the environmental pathways and antecedent causes.
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