15 November 2017
Going ahead with the proposed open cut coal mine at Rocky Hill near Gloucester, NSW, would risk endangering the health of locals, doctors will today at 9.30am advise a Planning Assessment Commission meeting at the Gloucester Soldiers Club.
Dr John Van Der Kallen, NSW spokesperson for Doctors for the Environment Australia, a medical group which includes a Nobel laureate and recipients of the Australia of the Year award, says there is robust evidence that open cut coal mines are bad for human health.
“The local population will be exposed to worsening of air quality, contamination of water, noise pollution, light pollution, vibrations from blasting and risk breathing toxic gases from blast plumes, as well as death if a blast plume goes awry.
“It has become painfully obvious that this mine will harm local people.
“In 2017 we have seen the Acland mine extension proposal rejected due to its effect on the local population. We have seen a proposed coal loading terminal rejected in the USA because of an increase in cancer risk due to emissions from coal trains.
“This proposed mine is within a kilometre of residences and within five kilometres of Gloucester itself. Given what we know, to even contemplate having an open cut mine this close to a town centre is a blatant disregard for human health”.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has already rejected this mine proposal, however, the final decision rests with the (PAC) which may yet approve the mine, and even then there is a possibility that the decision is appealed.
The community has overwhelmingly rejected the mine proposal. Of the 2,570 submissions received regarding this mine, 2308 objected to the proposal.
“This proposal should be ended once and for all,” says Dr Van Der Kallen.
“Similarly, the lease on the mine should be revoked so that the residents of Gloucester don’t have to be put through this process again.”