Our Work Health & Energy Media release: Public Forum-Townsville doctors and nurses speak out on the health effects of Adani’s coalmine

Media release: Public Forum-Townsville doctors and nurses speak out on the health effects of Adani’s coalmine

  •  29 Aug 2017
  •  Coal Media Releases
  •  Carmela Ferraro

What: Free public forum and discussion on how the Adani Carmichael mine will affect health

When: Wednesday 30 August 7pm to 9pm

Where: James Cook University, Padua Theatre, Building 40

Townsville’s doctors and nurses will today warn that the proposed Adani Carmichael mine may increase a range of illnesses that must be carefully considered before any final decision on the project is made.

The health professionals will be speaking at a free public forum in Townsville this evening which will also include farmers.

The event is organised by Doctors for the Environment Australia– a medical group that includes a Nobel laureate and recipients of the Australia of the Year award.

DEA spokesperson Dr Lucy Owen, who works at the Townsville Hospital Emergency Department, says the medical evidence against coal is clear.

“In the same way that doctors highlighted the risks of tobacco and asbestos, it is our responsibility to ensure that people have access to information about how coal both directly and indirectly effects their health,” says Dr Owen.

“The mining and burning of coal from this single project would increase air pollution, damage water supplies in a drought prone area like ours and lead to 4.7 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

“As north Queenslanders we are some of the first to experience the negative health impacts of climate change, including sea level rises (Since the early 1990s, northern Australia has had increases of 7.1 millimetres per year of sea level rise, compared to eastern Australia with 2.0 to 3.3 millimetres per year); extreme weather conditions such as drought, floods and more tropical cyclones in the more intense categories; and heatwaves.

“Children are most likely to suffer sickness from the effects of rising temperatures, and as parents and a community we have a responsibility to ensure their current and future health.”

Dr David King, chair of the Queensland chapter of DEA, says, “We understand employment concerns in regional Queensland, but there are opportunities to create jobs which do not have such negative health impacts— in the US, clean energy jobs outnumber fossil fuel ones by more than 2.5 to 1.

“ Given what we know about coal, it’s indefensible to proceed with digging up and burning this highly hazardous black rock for our power needs, when there are viable and healthy alternatives such as solar and wind.”

Other speakers include:

Rike Wolf, public health and emergency nurse with a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine & PGCert in Refugee and Disaster health.

Ms Wolf is also founder of Food Rescue Townsville which has redistributed over 1million meals worth of fresh surplus produce to local people in need. Food Rescue received the Australia Day Sustainability and Environmental Excellence Award this year.

Bruce Currie, Farmers for Climate Action will speak on the impacts to the health of farmers by Skype. Mr Currie owns a property at Jericho, west of Alpha, in the state’s central inland.

Contact DEA Speakers

Dr Lucy Owen, Registrar at the Townsville Hospital Emergency Department, 0431 577 525

Dr David King, Queensland spokesperson for DEA, 0424 068 797