Leading medical doctors have today made an urgent call to each of the Board members of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to rule out an investment loan allowing Adani to build a rail line from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point, because of the dangers coal poses to public health.
The signatories, including Australia of the Year award recipient Professor Fiona Stanley, have written an open letter to the NAIF, ahead of the Board’s impending decision on whether to fund part of the Adani project.
The letter is from advocacy group Doctors for the Environment Australia, and likens lending Adani public money to build a rail line for transporting coal to funding a tobacco company to move hundreds of tonnes of cigarettes for distribution.
The letter also urges the Board to reject the Adani Carmichael mine project because:
DEA spokesperson Professor Peter Brooks says doctors are witnessing the suffering from the health effects of climate change, which is being felt in Australia through increased heat waves, extreme weather events, bushfires and changing distribution of infectious diseases.
Professor Brooks says, “As doctors, we have a duty to act as advocates for our patients and to protect them from harm. We have spoken out against the tobacco industry and the use of asbestos, now doctors are actively advocating for a move away from coal as a vital public health intervention.
“The Adani Carmichael mine would be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world – and will create an infrastructure for the potential development of up to eight other coal mines in the region.
“This is clearly not consistent with global efforts to limit climate change as agreed in the Paris Agreement. Australia’s calculated share of the global carbon budget to limit climate change requires us to keep over 90% of fossil fuels in the ground, and even existing mines need to be retired before being fully exploited.
“The stark conclusions from health bodies in Australia and around the world on the potential risks to our health and to the environment from coal mining leave no room for doubt that the best place for coal is in the ground.”
Professor Kingsley Faulkner, 0419 936 677 (Based in Perth, which is two hours behind the eastern States)
DEA Chair and former president of RACS
Professor Peter Brooks, 0411 408 581
Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Health Policy- School of Population and Global Health University of Melbourne
Brisbane GP, Dr David King, 0424 068 797