Gunnedah Basin Health Study to examine impact of mining
Coal and coal seam gas companies are planning to expand their operations right across north west NSW, moving closer to agricultural communities than ever before. The residents of these communities in the Gunnedah Basin are concerned that the health impacts of extractive industries are not adequately addressed in the current planning process.
Phil Laird is a farmer and member of the Maules Creek Community Council, he said that the community’s calls for government and industry to conduct health impact assessments and cumulative air quality monitoring have “fallen on deaf ears”.
“We decided that if the community wants to protect itself from the negative impacts of coal and gas mining then we were going to have to do the assessments ourselves,” he said.
The North West Alliance held a forum in Gunnedah on 4 August to hear about the impact coal mining has had on communities in the Hunter Valley, and to learn about the process of conducting a health impact assessment.
Dr Ben Harris-Roxas, from the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at UNSW, told the forum: “What we do in a health impact assessment is identify how the proposals will affect the health and wellbeing, who it affects, and what we can do about it.”
Here is a short clip featuring highlights from the forum:
Here are the speeches given at the forum, first up is James Bishop, who farms at Mullaley, he introduces Tony Windsor, the Independent Member for New England:
Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Senior Advisor to the National Toxics Network:
Wendy Bowman, from Camberwell:
Dr Ben Harris-Roxas, Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, UNSW:
To learn more visit the Maules Creek Community Council website.