This joint statement is signed by Professor Tim Flannery, Professor Fiona Stanley, the Climate Council of Australia and Dr Liz Hanna of the Climate and Health Alliance representing 27 health organisations.
4 KEY FINDINGS
- Coal mining and burning coal for electricity emits toxic and carcinogenic substances into our air, water and land.
- Coal pollution is linked to the development of potentially fatal diseases and studies show severe health impacts on miners, workers and local communities.
- Australia’s heavy reliance on coal for electricity generation and massive coal industry expansion present significant risks to the health of communities, families and individuals.
- Emissions from coal mine fires, like the recent Hazelwood mine fire in Victoria, and the release of heavy metal and organic compounds, pose health risks for surrounding populations, such as respiratory and heart disease, cancers and other health conditions.
- National standards for consistent air, water and soil quality monitoring at and around every coal mine and power station in Australia conducted by an independent body with no relationship to the coal industry
- Adequate funding allocated for research to evaluate the health, social and environmental impacts of coal in coal mining communities.
- Coal’s human health risks must be properly considered and accounted for in all energy and resources policy and investment decisions.>
- We also encourage the investment in education and training opportunities to support coal mining communities to transition away from fossil fuel industries towards new industries.