Coal, CSG hurting health of communities, doctors say

UNDER-regulation of the coal and coal-seam gas industry is creating a "costly legacy" on human health and the environment, according to a report released today by Doctors for the Environment Australia.

According the report, entitled The Health Factor: Ignored by industry, overlooked by government, some coal projects have been allowed to pollute at levels known to compromise human health, disguised by inadequate monitoring of air quality.

It argues that research and regulation on coal-seam gas is losing pace with the speed of CSG development across the country, at a time when the potential impacts of the industry are still misunderstood.

DEA spokesperson Dr David Shearman said state government approvals of mining and gas projects are driven by "potential economic gain without thorough assessment of potential harms" - and the damage bill is being picked up by the healthcare and other sectors.

"What we are seeing is a trend to 'cutting green tape' without consideration of the consequences," Dr Shearman said.

"Those who believe Australian resource projects are operating with 'world's best practice' are simply mistaken."

"Governments need to conduct proper health impact assessments before projects are approved to better protect the health of communities."

Topics:  coal csg mining

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