A Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry into the health impacts of air quality is today holding a hearing in Brisbane to hear evidence from experts and local groups. The Australian Greens say that not enough is being done to protect the community from the health impacts of air pollution such as coal dust.
“There is very clear evidence that coal dust is a very serious threat to the health of Queenslanders,” said Dr Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens health spokesperson.
“The mining, transportation and combustion of coal all pollute the air with fine particles that can exacerbate diseases like asthma and lead to very serious conditions such as lung cancer.
“Air pollution has been responsible for twice as many annual fatalities as the national road toll and it has been ignored by the old parties for too long.
“Protecting the health of Australians should be of paramount importance to the parliament. We need to be looking at strengthening enforceable standards for air quality around the country and we also need to increase how much we monitor those standards.”
Australian Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland, Adam Stone, said that Queensland felt the impacts of air pollution very acutely.
“Queensland residents are particularly at risk because there is a lot of coal mined, stockpiled and transported around the state every day and often basic precautions to protect public health are not taken, such as covering coal wagons,” said Mr Stone.
“The Greens put this issue on the agenda because we care about protecting the health of the community.”
Media Contact: Andrew Blyberg: 0457 901 600 | Adam Stone: 0417 629 852