Origin Energy AGM: Doctors warn that fracking is a public health hazard   


Medical group Doctors for the Environment Australia will attend Origin Energy’s AGM on Wednesday to raise the alarm about the risks of NT fracking on public health. Spokesperson for DEA, Dr Helen Redmond, says the evidence against fracking is clear and there should be no further development of onshore gas in Australia.   


What: 

Doctors for the Environment Australia will attend Origin Energy’s AGM to challenge the company’s support of fracking, despite well-known public health risks. 

 They will also join the protest against opening up NT to shale gas extraction, and a DEA member will speak at the rally before the AGM. 

 When: 

Wednesday 16th October: There is a rally in Martin Place at 8-9am and later Angel Place; the AGM starts 10am, Sydney Recital Hall, Angel Place. 

Medical group Doctors for the Environment Australia will attend Origin Energy’s AGM on Wednesday to raise the alarm about the risks of NT fracking on public health. 

Spokesperson for DEA, Dr Helen Redmond, says the evidence against fracking is clear and there should be no further development of onshore gas in Australia. 

Dr Redmond says, “Climate change is a public health emergency now acknowledged by the AMA,  DEA  and other local and international organisations. We have a vanishing window of time in which to act to stabilise global heating. 

 “Emissions from the gas industry are routinely underestimated. Methane in our atmosphere is rising and the fingerprint of this methane is from the gas industry. 

 “Gas is NOT the clean green alternative to coal that the industry would like us to believe, it is another polluting fossil fuel. We neither need a transition fuel, nor do we have time for one. 

 “Gas is methane which is 86 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 over a 20-year timespan. When a full lifecycle analysis of gas is compared to coal, only 2-4% of gas needs to escape as fugitive emissions to wipe out the climate benefit of gas versus coal. USA gas field emissions rates range from 2-17% but there has been no comprehensive independently verifiable audit of gas emissions in Australia. 

"The gas extraction process also puts at risk the health of communities living near gasfields via air and water pollution from chemicals used in the process or released from underground. 

 “There is clear and mounting evidence from health studies in established gas fields in Australia and overseas that this industrial process harms health: with lower birth weights, increased preterm delivery, increased birth defects, respiratory illness and asthma, skin conditions, increased cancer risk and hospital presentations in affected communities. 

 “Australia has massive domestic and export market and jobs potential for wind and solar energy production combined with hydrogen or battery storage. These technologies are available now and ready for expansion - without the health and climate impacts. 

 “For Origin to continue to support fracking is morally indefensible and we expect the energy giant to do the right thing by public health and stop all onshore gas development.” 

Media Contact: 

Dr Helen Redmond is available after 5pm Tues 15 October and all day on Wednesday 16 October. 

 Dr Kim Loo is available both days.

To arrange an interview, please contact Media and Communications Coordinator Carmela Ferraro, 0410 703 074

About DEA 

DEA is an independent organisation of medical doctors protecting health through care of the environment http://dea.org.au We are supported by a Scientific Advisory Committee of distinguished health experts: Prof Stephen Boyden AM, Prof Emeritus Chris Burrell AO, Prof Colin Butler, Prof Peter Doherty AC, Prof Michael Kidd AM, Prof David de Kretser AC, Prof Stephen Leeder AO, Prof Ian Lowe AO, Prof Robyn McDermott, Prof Lidia Morawska, Prof Peter Newman AO, Prof Emeritus Sir Gustav Nossal AC, Prof Hugh Possingham, Prof Lawrie Powell AC, Prof Fiona Stanley AC, Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM, Dr Norman Swan 


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