Our membership base, together with our Scientific Advisory Committee, includes many prominent and highly respected Australians who actively support our activities. DEA is completely independent from all political parties and corporations, allowing it to maintain integrity and its ability to educate on scientific sound principles at all times. Section 5.3 of the Australian Medical Council entitled ‘A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia, 2009’ states “Good medical practice involves using your expertise and influence to protect and advance the health and wellbeing of individuals, patients, communities and populations.” DEA follows this code by protecting human health through a wide range of educational and other activities aimed at preserving, restoring and preventing further degradation of natural environments. Deductible gift recipient status (DGR) plays a significant part in helping our largely volunteer base to run our day to day activities by assisting DEA to raise funds to pay for 2.5 FTE (full time equivalent) employees. These employees are vital to support our large volunteer base........
We recognise the importance of the fin-fish aquaculture industry to the state of Tasmania however if the industry is to continue to grow it must ensure that the health of Tasmania’s waterways and human health are not compromised.
Stationary energy, as a sector, is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally and in Australia. Therefore replacing carbon intensive energy generation with low carbon alternatives will be essential in limiting greenhouse gas emissions and their consequent health impacts. Wind and solar electricity generation technologies are currently the primary, and probably only, scalable technologies that can be deployed economically in the required time frame. Preventing the worst and potentially unmanageable health impacts of climate change, and in particular achieving the target of limiting global surface temperature rise to 2°C is dependent of the large-scale development of renewable energy, of which onshore wind generation is the cheapest option.
Contamination of the air we breathe is a special case of environmental exposure. Although the individual risk from air pollution is very low, exposure is ubiquitous and across the entire population so the low individual risk multiplies to a large public health problem. The scientific understanding of these risks has developed greatly in the last ten years. Exposures that were previously thought to be insignificant are now recognised as damaging to health and the range of disease outcomes attributed to air pollution is expanding.
It is important for the government to recognise that its statements on climate change are eagerly scrutinised by a world readership which is greatly concerned by the threats to humanity imposed by climate change. DEA wishes to point out the need for a radical reduction in emissions to address the serious consequences that will otherwise arise. These consequences are barely mentioned in the Issues Paper and of particular concern to us is the failure to deal with health consequences anywhere in the document.
The Environmental Impact Assessment process incorporates this Health Impact Assessment which includes all aspects of community health, including social and mental health aspects and social disruption. All these processes are intended to look at the balance of positive and negative impacts of the development upon which informed decisions can be made. DEA uses its expertise to determine whether these health obligations have been carried out. We have assessed whether the Queensland government has carried out these obligations in relation to resource developments.
Submission to the Climate Change Authority on the future remission targets Australia should commit to as part of an effective and equitable global effort to achieve the objective of the UNFCCC (Article 2) or subsequent agreement to which Australia is a party. Doctors for the Environment Australia recommends that Australia commit to a reduction target on 2020 levels of at least 40% by 2025 and 95% by 2050. These targets are based on the severe consequences for human health and well being if global warming is not confined to two degrees. Since the constraint of emissions will have many health co-benefits and therefore cost savings, there will be some reduction in the costs of mitigation and adaptation.
Members of DEA are deeply concerned by the serious threats posed to health by fracture stimulation (fracking) for unconventional (whether coal seam, shale, or tight) gas in the South East of South Australia.
DEA notes that this review process came about through the expression of significant concern about the potential for exploration and mining for unconventional gas deposits (including coal seam gas) by landholders, communities, businesses and health bodies in the lead-up to the 2014 Tasmanian state election.
Those who don’t get the choice, however, are those living in the areas around a mine. I don’t get to give them advice to try breathing different air. I could advise moving, but that, surely, would be an admission that the mine shouldn’t be there........
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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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