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Health, mining reform needed for coal seam gas industry

August 8, 2011 - [The full article appears at ABC online (The Drum – opinion)]. Enough evidence has emerged at the Senate Inquiry into coal seam gas to merit significant reform orchestrated by the Federal Government. The New South Wales inquiry, followed no doubt by those in other states, is likely to illustrate the need for national action. There are two fundamental issues. The state mining acts were enacted at a time when the true meaning of the word ‘sustainability’ was defined but not accepted. We are now in a different world where mining should not have primacy over food production; that is not...

ZOONOSES: joining the dots between people, animals and the natural world

August 26, 2020 - Zoonosis is an infectious disease that can be passed from an animal to a human. Our newest fact sheet explores zoonotic diseases, how ongoing human encroachment on natural habitats has led to an increase in zoonotic diseases over the past 30 years, posing a major risk to the human race and how it is vital that we start protecting and preserving nature so that it can protect us....

DEA Bequest Program

November 15, 2020 - Will future generations inherit a healthy planet, a planet where all living creatures have an environment in which they can thrive? By leaving a gift to Doctors for the Environment Australia in your will, no matter how big or small, you will ensure our work continues towards a healthier planet, and in turn healthier lives for your family, future generations and all living things. Writing your Will Discuss your wishes with your family to ensure they understand that your charitable gifts are meaningful to you. You may need to update your will several times over your lifetime as circumstances change....

Forests and Health Position Statement

March 30, 2012 - Over 50 per cent of the earth’s forests have been cleared, mainly for grazing land expansion, agriculture and road construction. Every year 15 million hectares of rain forest are being destroyed and 2.4 per cent of the world’s mixed species vegetation forests and woodlands are disappearing. Around 4 billion hectares of forests remain of which only 1.45 billion hectares are primary (old growth) forests. There are multiple health and other benefits of forests in addition to their carbon storage effects. These include clean air, clean water, water retention and respiration, rain formation effects with large forests and soil protection from...

Renew Economy: Santos must come clean on methane and accept its responsibilities to human health

April 6, 2020 - Putting aside the inadequacies of government in addressing climate change, many Australians are coming to recognise that the fate of the planet resides mainly in numerous corporate board rooms, writes Dr David Shearman. The recent Santos AGM is one battleground for our future.  Santos, along with other Australian gas producers, has a significant role in increasing world emissions of methane, a fast-acting greenhouse gas. Santos though has never addressed the increasing body of evidence that total emissions from gas are little different from coal, or the risks associated with potential exposure of residents and workers to chemical mixtures with endocrine...

Open Forum: Blue-banded bliss

March 2, 2020 - ...unconcernedly buzzes a drift of beautifully formed tiny foraging insects with brilliant blue stripes, gliding from petal to petal, seeking nectar and pollen. Watching them is like meditation.  Blue-banded bees (Amegilla cingulata) are just one of around 2000 species of native bees in Australia.  These treasured visitors are getting rarer to find, as their natural nesting sites in clay soils are destroyed by ever increasing development of cities. They are also under threat from agriculture, land clearing, exotic plant species and climate change.  Yet paradoxically cities may be important sites for bee conservation in private and community gardens.  While the...

Welcome to our Friends of DEA

October 27, 2020 - ...your resume and cover letter to Kylie Astell at admin@dea.org.au. Your cover letter should detail the skills you believe you can provide to DEA as well as your availability during the week. Campaign Activities Throughout the year, DEA has a number of major campaigns which align with our vision of a healthy planet, healthy people. These campaigns can range from online petitions to visiting our local MPs and discussing a range of topics from climate change, the environment, renewable energy, fossil fuel usage and public health. To keep informed of our campaign activities please sign up to our quarterly newsletter....

Bushfires and Health in a Changing Environment: Fact sheet

Bushfires and Health in a Changing Environment: Fact sheet

December 20, 2017 - Bushfires have always been a part of the Australian ecology, but now that ecology is changing. Extreme fire weather has increased in Australia over the last 30 years. Our fire-prone continent is at particular risk from the impacts of climate change, and we are experiencing more extreme heat events, an increase in severe fire danger days and a longer fire season (Hughes & Fenwick 2015; CSIRO 2016). Doctors for the Environment Australia have developed this fact sheet detailing how bushfires harm health, and what can be done. Download the DEA Bushfires Fact Sheet...

FACT & ACTION SHEET – Cash for containers

April 18, 2013 - In this F&A sheet, we will be discussing Cash for Containers, which is a recycling campaign aimed at implementing a Container Deposits System (CDS) across all states in Australia. In Australia, this system involves paying a 10c deposit, which can be refunded if the container is presented to an authorized recycling facility. It has been successfully implemented in SA for over 30 years, while NT recently adopted this strategy in 2012. However, the larger states of NSW, VIC and QLD have yet to follow. Download the DEA Fact & Action Sheet: Cash for containers...

Dendrobium Mine Expansion Proposal Submission (September 2019)

September 10, 2019 - DEA is concerned about the ongoing mining activities occurring within the Greater Sydney Water Catchment, and the effects of this mining on the water security of over 5 million people. There is increasing evidence of damage to groundwater systems that supply Sydney’s drinking water from mining operations, and this expansion proposal comes at a time when dam levels are below 50% capacity and water restrictions are in place. The Dendrobium Mine Expansion will only further these damaging impacts, placing the water supply in even more precarious territory. Dendrobium Mine Expansion Proposal Submission 09-19...

Sydney Morning Herald: The right side of history? Labor’s noble climate talk lost in coal smoke

August 30, 2019 - ...a few other recalcitrant nations, makes not only the disaster of a 2-degree-warmer world certain but a catastrophic 4-degree-warmer planet likely, based on mounting evidence collated in a paper by Breakthrough – National Centre for Climate Restoration Policy. Swan can talk that talk, but Labor needs to start walking on the right side of the line, and trust that voters will walk with them. David Shearman is a founder of Doctors for the Environment Australia and emeritus Professor of Medicine at Adelaide University. The full article was published in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Canberra Times  on 30 August 2019....

FACT & ACTION SHEET – Coal Seam Gas

April 18, 2013 - ...process of coal seam gas (CSG) extraction, where it is being carried out in Australia and the concerns over its impacts on health and the environment. The issue of CSG extraction is extremely controversial, with both sides of the debate being extremely polarized. Where necessary, the two sides of the debate and materials produced by both sides will be used, to aid in understanding the complex issues surrounding CSG and how they are being presented. However, as doctors and medical students, we focus on practicing Evidence Based Medicine. Therefore, question the motives and evidence behind both sides of the argument…….....

Project changes to the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project submission (July 2019)

July 25, 2019 - This is yet another application from the infamous Acland New Hope mine for expansion even before its previous application for a new water license has been decided. Over many years the local community and land holders has suffered from noise, air pollution, and water usage which has affected its health with inadequate action from the state government or company. Project Changes to the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project Submission 07-19 Appendix 1 – Project Changes to the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project New Acland Coal’s application for an Associated Water Licence for the Acland Stage 3...

Submission: Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap (17 June 2020)

June 17, 2020 - The Australian Government invited brief commentary on their Technology Roadmap to guide investment in energy generation over the next few decades. One key concept in this Roadmap is the notion of technology “neutrality”. However, this concept should be rejected as technologies are not equivalent in their potential to reduce emissions. There are sufficient zero-emitting technologies available for further development without wasting resources on fossil-fuels. The Roadmap also fails as it does not have a “destination”, that is, a well-defined emissions-reduction target. For details of DEA’s submission, see here....

Submission to the West Australian Draft Forest Management Plan 2014-2023

November 4, 2012 - The draft management plan should be acknowledged for recognising and including some of the important factors that will determine the health and sustainability of our SW forest ecosystems over coming decades. Whilst climate change and related impacts have been included, the plan falls well short of adequately accounting for those potential changes and their consequences, particularly with respect to biodiversity loss. Biodiversity underpins the functioning of ecosystems, and the natural services provided are the very foundation of human health. As such, loss of biodiversity fundamentally compromises our efforts to improve and promote our health and wellbeing. But this linkage is...

Underground Water Impact Report for the Surat Cumulative Management Area (July 2019)

July 11, 2019 - Doctors for the Environment Australia believes that this report must be seen in the context of possible harm to the sustainability of Queensland and Australia, and in this regard we are concerned with sustainability of two pillars of human health; water resources and the maintenance of food producing land which in turn depends on its supporting biodiversity. These essentials need to have priority over resource development, which can be transient, and result in lasting harms. Consequently, note must be made of the Climate Change Emergency, the world and national biodiversity crisis and the possibility of stranded fossil fuel assets Underground...

Proposed variation to the ambient air quality measure standards for ozone, NO2 and SO2 submission

July 3, 2019 - Australia’s air pollution standards, known as National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM), were set in 1998 and are long overdue for revision. These standards are intended to protect public health, but they have not kept up with new research on the health impacts of air pollution. Health effects occur at lower concentrations than previously thought. Many foreign jurisdictions review their air standards every five or ten years and have progressively lowered permissible levels over time. The particle standards were updated in 2015, and the current review is for sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone. These three pollutants are quick...

Wollar Solar Farm (May 2019)

May 13, 2019 - It is important for the development of the vital renewable energy industry that appropriate developments proceed in order to build the skill base and employment opportunities for people working in the renewable energy industry in order to improve and accelerate the rollout of these projects over the coming decade. There are many potential benefits for the Wollar community when it comes to the developmental of the Wollar Solar Farm, including the potential for increased local employment or new residents related to employment opportunities.  Wollar Solar Farm submission – 05-19...

DEA doctors innovating and protecting health during the COVID 19 pandemic

April 11, 2020 - ...on the mental health implications of living and working during a pandemic.https://7news.com.au/the-daily-edition/coronavirus-update-how-changing-your-mindset-can-help-if-youre-struggling-with-mental-health-c-901980  Past DEA Chair and present DEA Scientific Advisor Committee member Professor Michael Kidd is working in Canberra as the recently appointed Principal Medical Advisor to the Federal Department of Health and Professor of Primary Care Reform at The Australian National Universityhttps://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/professor-michael-kidd-appointed-to-advise-on-primary-health-reforms and writes in a recently published article of GPs central response to COVID-19 https://www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/coronavirus/australias-primary-care-covid19-response To all our members and friends take care and we look forward to bringing you more news of DEA member activities over the coming weeks. Dr Eugenie Kayak. DEA Co-chair. FANZCA, MBBS, MSc....

Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy – Improving resource approval efficiency consultation (October 2018)

October 8, 2018 - ...failure to use full cost accounting and to recognise environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity and the need for sustainability. In this submission, DEA recommends that: the Queensland government undertake reform of its resource development assessment processes by independent experts in public health, economics, environment and governance systems. in the interim, the extensive powers of the Coordinator-General to over-rule Departments and the Land Court be removed and be replaced by a transparent consensus process based on Treasury, Health, Environment and Mining Departments. Download the Submission to the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy – Improving resource approval efficiency consultation...