Narrabri decision ignores the health risks, doctors warn


The approval of the Narrabri gas project has failed to adequately consider the health risks and it should have been rejected, according to medical doctors. 

Dr John Van Der Kallen, NSW Co-Chair of medical group Doctors for the Environment Australia, says: “Since the health impact assessment was done for the Narrabri Gas Project in 2016, there have been more than 1500 internationals studies on the health impacts of gas developments. However, these have not been included in the assessment of the Narrabri Gas Project. 

 “The health impacts alone should be sufficient to reject this disastrous proposal. When you consider that this project will increase greenhouse gas emissions, there is no question about it. 

“More emissions will fuel further climate change, endangering the health and wellbeing of Australians. “Warming temperatures are already affecting our health with the increased risk of bushfires, such as our summer of fires, hotter, longer and more frequent heat waves and drought. 

“Along with the federal government’s ill-conceived plans for a “gas-led recovery” , this decision may trigger a “gas rush” around the nation for similarly dangerous fossil fuel projects which we can ill afford. 

 “Methane in fossil gas contributes to global warming and undermines hopes of the world meeting the Paris goal of limiting temperature warming to 1.5C.

 “It is beyond comprehension that the health impacts from climate change are not being considered in the approval process. 

 “Gas developments can affect the health of communities living nearby-- through impacts on air, water and land, and mental health impacts brought on by social change and damage to the local environment. 

 “The expansion of gas development is unnecessary, as safe and clean alternatives such as solar and wind are already available and are cheaper. 

 “As doctors, we’re alarmed that despite concerns from the medical community, regulatory bodies are not responding to advice about the risks of gas. 

 “As we have learned from COVID-19, we have to listen to the scientists and health experts to address public health crises.” 

Media contacts 

 Dr John Van Der Kallen, Co-Chair of NSW DEA 

 Dr Helen Redmond, Rehabilitation Physician and co-author of Investing in Health: How health professionals can help shape the future. 

 Dr Bob Vickers, Hunter Valley GP 

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

Resources

NSW IPC's Narrabri Gas Project Statement of Reasons 

DEA's Supplementary Submission Narrabri Gas Project

The Implications for Human Health and Wellbeing of Expanding Gas Mining in Australia  

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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