Greens hope to host hearing on coal dust in Gladstone

A Senate inquiry has been launched into the impact of coal on air quality.
A Senate inquiry has been launched into the impact of coal on air quality. Sarah Harvey

A SENATE inquiry into the impact of coal on air quality will have a hearing in Gladstone if Greens health spokesman Richard Di Natale gets his way.

The Greens-initiated Senate inquiry on air quality will focus on the health impacts of coal, and Senator Di Natale is keen to have hearings in places around the country where the "impacts are felt very acutely", including Gladstone, the Hunter Valley, the Latrobe Valley and Port Augusta.

"Coal dust is a very real threat to human health," Senator Di Natale said. 

"The mining, transportation and combustion of coal can lead to serious health impacts for workers and surrounding communities.

"People can suffer diseases like asthma and even lung cancer as a result of fine coal dust particles."

Senator Di Natale said the health impacts of coal had been ignored for too long, and it was time to have a detailed at look at the evidence.

"Last year I secured a Senate inquiry into the health impacts of air quality and that inquiry is now open to submissions," he said.

"I want the other parties to study the evidence and listen to the experts, but I also want them to hear from affected communities.

"Protecting the health of Australians should be of paramount importance to the parliament. The other parties can't afford to ignore the health impacts of coal any longer."

For more information on the inquiry visit http://greensmps.org.au/airquality.

Topics:  coal, coal dust, gladstone, greens, mining, resources



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