It is vital that new regulations such as this proposed amendment are sufficient to protect public health. However, although it is a step in the right direction, it does not adequately protect other areas at risk - our prime farming land, our water catchments, and unique natural environments like the Pilliga forest (with its state significant biodiversity). Under the changes, these natural resources remain vulnerable to the impacts of coal seam gas mining. Moreover, the amendment does not apply to existing CSG developments, with only areas exposed to new exploration and production development being assured of exclusion.
The purpose of this submission is to emphasise that, while the proposed Nyrstar Transformation of the lead smelter at Port Pirie considerably advances the health of Port Pirie residents, the environmental lead exposure of residents still remains of concern to us.
We have a planet to manage, not just a local economy. Climate change and its threats to human health, survival and social stability should be at the top of the public service agenda. It is unscientific, irrational and counter to the public interest to develop forest burning as an energy source.
In the opinion of DEA, the proposed SEPP inappropriately promotes and facilitates the development of resource mining at the expense of the other valuable land uses, ecosystems, local communities, our health and the stability of our climate.
Most importantly, the onus should be on proof of the proposed actions' safety and lack of harm to the environment and human health now and into perpetuity- if this is in anyway jeopardised the activity should not be allowed to proceed.
Our health is closely related to the state of our environment and dependent on many natural services it provides. Environmental damage and degradation can lead to health impacts in a great many ways, both directly – as in the case of pollutants – to complex and cumulative effects. Changes to water quality and availability, loss of ecological services and the consequences of climate change, being some examples.
While changes in the planning system are welcome and needed, it is imperative that these changes foster improvements in the health and wellbeing of NSW residents, whom NSW legislation ultimately serves, and who stand to benefit from the state’s economic development. This submission reviews the White Paper’s potential to protect and improve health outcomes of current and future generations, and outlines the serious consequences of not fully considering the impacts of development on health in the new planning legislation.
In this submission DEA outline the health imperatives to reduce Australia’s emissions as quickly as possible, and therefore put a strong case for increasing Australia’s 2020 emissions reduction target from 5% to 25%.
Health is not merely the absence of disease, but requires clean air, safe food and water and ecosystem services in an environment conducive to physical and mental health. There is the potential for health to be affected by CSG directly and indirectly through chemical exposures, threats to food and water security and wider cumulative, psychological and social impacts.
The submission by Doctors for the Environment Australia to the EIS in December 2011 noted that “This EIS fails to assess the human health impacts adequately”. The SEIS also fails.
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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 environmentDownload Prospectus
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