Health, mining reform needed for coal seam gas industry

[The full article appears at ABC online (The Drum – opinion)].

Enough evidence has emerged at the Senate Inquiry into coal seam gas to merit significant reform orchestrated by the Federal Government.

The New South Wales inquiry, followed no doubt by those in other states, is likely to illustrate the need for national action.

There are two fundamental issues.

The state mining acts were enacted at a time when the true meaning of the word ‘sustainability’ was defined but not accepted. We are now in a different world where mining should not have primacy over food production; that is not to say that we do not need resource extraction but we need it under rules that favour a long-term human and healthy existence rather than short-term profit. What has been happening to rural communities under coal seam gas and coal exploration has been outrageous. They have had insecurity imposed upon them and all the health impacts that accompany possible displacement. Not a way to treat the custodians of land and food resources.

The second issue is the potential health impacts on those living in coal seam gas mining areas via water pollution. These impacts are detailed in the submission of Doctors for the Environment Australia to the Senate.

……read the rest online here.

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