Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications - Australia’s faunal extinction crisis

Doctors for the Environment Australia is pleased to comment on this Enquiry for the extinction crisis reflects the rapid decline in biodiversity and ecological services, nationally and internationally, with grave implications for many aspects of human health and survival. Read more -->

Submission to the Review of the National Pollution Inventory (NPI)

In Australia, it is estimated that urban air pollution contributes to approximately 3,000 deaths annually – more than double the deaths of the national road toll. As part of its advocacy for cleaner air,  DEA has made a number of recommendations in a submission to a review of the National Pollution Inventory (NPI). Read more -->

Senate Select Committee on Electric Vehicles submission

"Electricity is the thing. There are no whirring and grinding gears with their numerous levers to confuse. There is not that almost terrifying uncertain throb and whirr of the powerful combustion engine. There is no water-circulating system to get out of order-no dangerous and evil smelling gasoline and no noise.”  Edison to Ford c1895 .............

Proposed changes to timber harvesting in NSW’s coastal forests

Former Premier of NSW Bob Carr is dismayed by Berejiklian's environmental vandalismIn this submission DEA details just one aspect of this destruction - forest clearance. See below for the DEA submission to the NSW government on this issue and note the previous two recent articles from John van der Kallen on this topic. 

Download DEA's submission regarding the proposed changes to timber harvesting in NSW’s coastal forests

Energy Security Board - Draft Detailed Design of the National Energy Guarantee Consultation Paper submission

DEA’s submission to the detailed design consultation paper emphasises that, once again, the Energy Security Board (ESB) has completely failed to consider any of the health problems and health costs associated with pollution, climate change and rising electricity prices.  The ESB and the federal government totally ignore the other 2/3 of emissions production from transport, industry and manufacturing and agriculture.  They have no policies in these areas.  This means that Australia will fail to meet its Paris Agreement Targets.  Australia will fail its global commitment to emissions reduction.  These failures guarantee deaths and illness for the people of Australia.

Download the ESB - Draft Detailed Design of the National Energy Guarantee Consultation Paper submission

NEG - Draft Detailed Design for Consultation - Commonwealth Elements submission

The Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is being presented as a bipartisan solution to electrical energy supply. However, DEA agrees with energy experts that this proposal only entrenches the dominance of coal-fired power in the eastern states and locks-out the emergence of more renewable energy. With the NEG, ambitious emissions reduction would be overlooked in the interests of false claims that a dominance of coal-fired power is the only way to ensure energy security and reliability.

Download the National Energy Guarantee - Draft Detailed Design for Consultation - Commonwealth Elements submission

Adani Infrastructure’s North Galilee Water Scheme (NGWS) Project submission

Despite ongoing public pressure, missed deadlines and lack of secure funding, Adani is pushing ahead with their plans to build Australia's largest coal mine in the Galilee Basin. Their latest bid is to extract yet more water - from the Suttor River via the North Galilee Water Scheme - without a full environmental assessment. This water would potentially be used for other coal mines in the area, and the Suttor River feeds into the major river system going to the Great Barrier Reef. DEA put in a submission to have this project fully scrutinised both for its health and environmental impacts.

Submission to the Clean Air for all Victorians: Victoria’s Air Quality Statement

The Victorian Government continues to involve the community in developing strategies to improve air quality in Victoria. DEA points out that Victoria needs to take stronger measures to reduce pollutants particularly from the coal-fired power stations in the Latrobe Valley. 

Download DEA's submission to the Clean Air for all Victorians: Victoria’s Air Quality Statement 

Response to Central Queensland Coal Project (Styx) Supplementary EIS

DEA made a submission opposing this new coal mine. Our criticisms were opposed in a supplementary EIS.
We have responded to this repeating that this is a dangerous mine to travellers on the Bruce Highway, because of blast plumes from explosions. The mine workings drain into an estuary and therefore is harmful to the Reef. The groundwater of this agricultural area is also under threat. The Queensland government continues to present huge problems for the climate and the Reef.

Summary framework for consultation: SA DRAFT State Public Health Plan 2019-2024

South Australia's second state public health plan is currently under development. The DEA(SA) committee recently prepared a submission commenting on the draft summary framework for the new plan, highlighting opportunities for increased consideration of environmental health issues and the need for a 'climate and health in all policies' approach. DEA(SA) has offered to provide ongoing input during the development of the new plan, with a draft expected in August 2018.

Exploring ways to improve farmers' interaction with the EPBC Act 1999 

DEA has made a submission to this review. The government notice says “Independent Reviewer, Dr Wendy Craik, is undertaking a short-term targeted review to reduce red-tape and find practical ways to help farmers meet the requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). The review will help unpack the issues faced by farmers to find real solutions while maintaining the high environmental standards Australia is renowned for." The use of the words “red tape” is likely to indicate the real intent but DEA has risen above these political aims.

Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria

DEA is concerned by the outlook for human and planetary health of inadequate control of global warming and climate change. In a submission to the Victorian government on emissions reduction targets, DEA supports the leadership and actions undertaken by Victoria in the absence of genuine action by the Federal Government to meet Australia’s commitments to the Paris Agreement 2015.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are important

The United Nations sets these goals not just for developing countries but for all countries including Australia. Although Australia has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, our SDG targets, particularly on health and the environment, have slipped 6 places in the last reporting year to 26th place globally. Furthermore, our overseas development aid to help others attain their goals is inadequate. DEA has made a submission to Parliament on SDGs

Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in Western Australia 2017 Submission

A recent statement by the McGowan Labor Government who plan to make WA into a "global LNG hub" is deeply concerning for the control of green house emissions. Furthermore it begs the question whether the recent WA enquiry into the risks from fracking might be used to promote the production of additional (unconventional) gas in the state. Submissions to the enquiry closed yesterday; read the DEA Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in Western Australia 2017 Submission and media release.

Australia’s Strategy for Nature 2018-2030: Australia’s biodiversity conservation strategy and action inventory submission

The Federal Government has produced a biodiversity conservation strategy paper which is deeply flawed in its assessments and fails to understand the urgency for action. In response, DEA has written a submission which demands action.

Submission to the Energy Security Board National Energy Guarantee - Consultation Paper

The consultation paper is fundamentally flawed in failing to include health considerations from air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions which have considerable costs to human health and the nation.

Better fuel for cleaner air draft regulation impact statement

Australia’s fuel standards for vehicles are the lowest of the countries comprising the OECD and amongst the lowest in the G20. They cause ill health and deaths from air pollution and also contribute  a large and growing proportion of our greenhouse emissions. There has to be reform

SA Health on the Review of the State Public Health Plan - South Australia: A Better Place to Live

In this submission DEA analyses the current SA public health plan in the light of our submission; A Better Place to Live 2013.
We conclude it is necessary to show more urgency in climate change mitigation, to bring climate change into all policies and to work for national coordination through the development of a National Environmental Protection Agency.

Submission to the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory in Response to the Draft Final Report

Doctors for the Environment Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide further feedback following the release of the draft Final Report into Hydraulic Fracturing.

It is our recommendation that the moratorium on fracking in NT should be extended indefinitely. Whilst the Inquiry has identified regulatory options that may minimise some of the risks of fracking, DEA believes that for NT, such a response is premature, overly optimistic, and overlooks climate change which is the greatest threat to human and economic health that we face.

Download the Submission to the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory in Response to the Draft Final Report.

Submission to the Proposed Central Queensland (Styx) Coal Project

The impacts of a development must be seen in the context of national and international health. These important links are explained in “The health factor: Ignored by industry and overlooked by government”, Appendix 1: The need to protect public health.

Submission on the proposed amendment to prohibit open cut mining at Drayton South

DEA supports the prohibition of open cut mining in the mapped area of the Upper Hunter near Jerrys Plains. However DEA is of the view that the amendment does not go far enough, and that all coal mining on the site should be prohibited. This is because any form of coal mining on this site would have damaging effects on local population health, the environment and existing industry. Furthermore, coal mining on this site would have negative global effects, from the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and the subsequent effects of climate change, including threats to health. Therefore DEA advocates for the Mining SEPP amendment to be widened, to include a ban on all coal mining on the site.

Submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel

Submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) on
– Alinta Energy Reeves Plains Power Station, comprising the construction of a 300 MW capacity gas fired peaking power station
– AGL Energy Grand Trunkway, Torrens Island, comprising the construction of a two stage power station with a total capacity of 420 MW

Supplementary submission on the Rocky Hill Mine to the NSW PAC

Since the initial DEA submission  there has been new evidence regarding the impact of open cut coal mines on health as well the rejection of a similar proposal, the New Acland Coal mine extension, by the Land Court in Queensland.

Supplementary Submission to the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory

DEA has already made a comprehensive submission and provided additional information in a further submission to the Inquiry, and these are now in the Submission library (numbers 96 and 477).

NSW EIA Improvement Project – 1: Overview of the EIA Improvement Project Submission

The rapid expansion of the coal and unconventional gas industries has not only created widespread community concern over health and environmental issues but it has exposed the inadequate processes whereby the New South Wales (NSW) government is acting as proponent in their perceived interest of economic development whereas they should be acting as arbiter.

Current and future impacts of climate change on housing, buildings and infrastructure submission

….It is also increasingly apparent that, even with a 2°C rise, the world will be greatly changed from present, with economic budgets greatly stressed by reparation of infrastructure and all the pillars of life, water, food, air quality and biodiversity-resilience under stress and facing likely deterioration…..

Governance and operation of Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Submission

It is also very important that the NAIF also takes into account our responsibilities to various international agreements such as the Paris Agreement. This would seem consistent with the paragraph in the White Paper – “The north will be an exemplar of sustainable development. The development of major population centres of more than a million people will underwrite substantial exports of planning, design, architecture and construction to the Tropics”.

Submission on the Narrabri Gas Project

DEA notes a number of deficiencies, unsupported assumptions, known and unknown risks in relation to the Santos Narrabri Gasfield project. We recommend rejection of this proposal on the basis that it cannot sufficiently guarantee the safety of human health and ecosystems supporting health.

Discussion Paper on the Review of Australia’s Climate Change Policy

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) is concerned about the health effects of climate change on humans and the biosphere on which humans depend. DEA is also cognisant of policies that can address both existing health problems and reduce the impact of climate change. It is in this holistic risk–co-benefit framework that DEA examines the climate change policies of Australian federal and state governments.

Submission to the Climate Change Authority on the Special Review of power system security, electricity prices and emissions reductions

DEA notes that the Climate Change Authority (CCA) will join with the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to review an Independent Review into the Future Security of the NEM. The report of this Independent Review is not yet available, so why there has to be further review of an unpublished Review is problematic and raises questions of probity.

Action on the land: reducing emissions, conserving natural capital and improving farm profitability

DEA commends The Climate Change Authority for taking a lead in exploring the ways in which Australia’s agricultural sector can move from being a major contributor to climate change and degradation of natural resources to being part of the solution, whilst maintaining or improving productivity.

Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory submission

Australia has seen rapid growth in interest and development of exploration and drilling for unconventional gas reserves from coal seams, shale deposits and tight sands. These reserves require special techniques such as fracking, in-seam and horizontal drilling. Doctors for the Environment Australia is concerned that the rush to exploit this resource has outpaced regulation to protect public health and the environment, and to adequately assess the health impacts, including exposures to industrial chemicals.

Inquiry into the rehabilitation of mining and resources projects as it relates to Commonwealth responsibilities submission

Mining incurs a range of environmental impacts that persist after the production phase of the mine has ended. There are changes in vegetation and landscape, exposure and potential ignition of fossil fuels, the pollution of air, soils and water, the introduction of aquatic sediments into water sources and land subsidence. Any of these can result in loss of productive land, loss or degradation of groundwater, pollution of surface water and air pollution from dust or toxic gases, with subsequent negative impacts on human health.

Preliminary Report of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market Submission

Energy reliability and security, and affordability which are all essential for the cohesion and health of our society can be achieved by the continued inclusion of renewable energy into the market; small- and large-scale wind and solar, supported by smart switching and controlling technologies; and by energy storage facilities such as batteries, pumped hydro and concentrated solar thermal.

Submission to the Better Fuel for Cleaner Air Discussion Paper

DEA welcomes the opportunity to respond to the discussion paper ‘Better Fuel for Cleaner Air’ and notes that the scope of the paper is limited to consideration of fuel quality standards while vehicle emission standards and fuel efficiency (greenhouse gas emissions per kilometre) are to be considered separately by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce Submission

On reviewing the Interim report one is encouraged by the availability of natural energy resources in Tasmania. Unlike most other states Tasmania has three quarters of stationary energy available through hydro and it has unlimited wind, solar and other modalities which with storage would make the state self-sufficient in clean energy and attain zero emissions from its energy sector…….

Clean Air for NSW Consultation Paper Submission

We agree with the proposition that although NSW has relatively clean air by global standards, there is still a burden of disease attributable to air pollution and considerable health benefits available by improving air quality.

Review of the Load-based Licensing Scheme (NSW) submission

Coal-fired power stations (CFPS) are substantial sources of air pollutants.

Retirement of coal-fired power stations submission

An urgent need to address carbon emissions and a move towards renewable energy are creating structural changes in energy supplies that are having, and will have, profound impacts on workers and communities in the energy sector. With knowledge and planning, those impacts can be attenuated, but without such planning, community and social effects can be long lasting…….

Loy Yang B Works Approval Submission

Victoria’s coal fired power stations are responsible for almost 50% of the state’s climate pollution. It is impossible to make a difference to Victoria’s carbon pollution without addressing the operation of these power stations. Any energy derived from brown coal is ‘part of the problem’, as its GEI is above that achievable from other sources of electricity generation……….

Rocky Hill Coal Project Submission

To avoid a rise of greater than 2°C, 80% of known coal reserves must stay in the ground .

NT Fracking Inquiry 2016

We acknowledge the Northern Territory Government for its implementation of a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and the establishment of this inquiry and public consultation.

Paris Agreement submission to the Treaties Committee

DEA is concerned with the projected devastating effects of climate change on human health (and by extension, all forms of life in the biosphere). We note that the Paris Agreement does not deal with health adequately. The Treaty does acknowledge, rather inconspicuously…….

Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline Environmental Impact Statement NT Submission

The Terms of Reference of this Inquiry do not address the issues raised by DEA in our submission around the link between the pipeline project and the onshore gas development required to make the project viable.

VIC Government Coal Policy submission

As part of the Victorian Government’s plans to move away from coal-fired power stations, the government established an independent review of coal policy. This review, together with the review of the Climate Change Act, the Renewable Energy Roadmap, and the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, will feed into a new coal policy which will take into account environmental, social and economic factors. Since about one-third of all Victoria’s emissions are from coal, and since the Victorian government had already committed to net zero emissions by 2050, DEA believes ambitious reduction in coal use is required.

Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Economics

Doctors for the Environment Australia recommends that the present budget for ARENA be maintained as a preventative health measure.

Submission on Advancing Climate Action in Queensland: Making the transition to a low carbon future

Doctors for the Environment Australia has made many formal submissions from our medical and scientific experts and have had the opportunity to observe the processes and performance of successive Queensland governments. On this occasion we will make some general observations and comments in relation to the report “Advancing Climate Action in Queensland. Making the transition to a low carbon future”.

Earth Resources Regulation Victoria submission

Building on experiences between farmers and gas drilling operators in other states, in the absence of baseline studies, contamination and pollution by exploration and mining activities cannot be proved and so cannot be attributed to such activities.  For example the Condamine River in Queensland…….

Rye Park Wind Farm Project Submission

DEA strongly advocates, for the health of the community, the phasing out of coal fired power stations.

Submission on Protecting the Yarra River (Birrarung)

As medical doctors we welcome this opportunity to contribute to the community discussion about opportunities to improve the oversight and management of the Yarra River. We rely on natural ecosystems for clean air and water; healthy fertile soils in which to grow our food; a stable climate in which to thrive and a rich tapestry of living organisms- biodiversity- from which we have taken food and developed over half of the medicines in use today.

Submission to Victoria State Government on Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2036

Our health is absolutely dependent on our natural environment. We rely on natural ecosystems for clean air and water, healthy, fertile soils in which to grow our food, a stable climate in which to thrive and a rich tapestry of living organisms- biodiversity- from which we have taken food and over half of the medicines in use today. Currently we are facing urgent threats to our wellbeing from climate change and biodiversity loss. As medical doctors we welcome this opportunity to provide input to the Victorian government’s review of biodiversity protection – a plan that is desperately needed to address the appalling rate of species extinction in our state.

Submission to the Ministerial Forum on the Vehicle Emissions Discussion Paper

Vehicle emissions are a major public health issue with approximately 3,000 deaths per annum in Australia resulting from air pollution; a figure greater than total road accident deaths. A significant proportion of these deaths and the chronic illness of thousands more is caused by vehicular pollution.

Submission on Petroleum (Environment) Regulations – Northern Territory

….oil and gas developments must be undertaken in a manner that will both protect the health of its citizens, preserve and enhance the Territory’s unique surroundings, our way of life and ensure the viability of other crucial sectors of our economy such as agriculture and tourism……

Submission to Tasmania’s draft climate change action plan 2016-2021

Tasmania and Australia more broadly, is already experiencing the human health impacts of longer, hotter and more frequent heatwaves , with recent heatwaves around Australia producing increased hospital admissions and deaths, and putting extra strain on healthcare and emergency services. Recent years have also seen increasingly frequent and severe bushfires in Tasmania. Bushfires pose numerous risks to health including direct injuries, burns and deaths from the fires themselves, as well as through cardiorespiratory effects of smoke on people living hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away….

Submission to the Select Committee on Unconventional Gas Mining

DEA is of the view that a national approach is essential to reduce the extensive risks associated with unconventional gas mining.

Submission on the Draft Report on Australia’s climate policy option (Climate Change Authority)

It is a great disappointment that numerous Climate Change Authority discussions and documents on the issue of climate change have failed to emphasise its impact on health. To avoid widespread, severe and irreversible impacts associated with present trajectory of 4 degrees of global warming, urgent action must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The response of Government thus far has been grossly inadequate – and that Australia needs to commit to a reduction target on 2020 levels of at least 40% by 2025 and a reduction of at least 95% by 2050. This is the only way that we might be able to confine global temperature rise to 2°C and thus avoid severe consequences to human health.  The time to act is now.

Submission on the SA Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016

The Global Burden of Disease report from WHO estimates that ambient air pollution is responsible for 3.7 million deaths worldwide (2012 estimate).

Submission on the Rix’s Creek Continuation Project

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) opposes the approval of the Rix’s Creek continuation on the grounds that the area, and in particular the inhabitants of Camberwell and Singleton already suffer high levels of particulate air pollution and the extension of mining will exacerbate the probability of respiratory harm in a region with many existing coal mines and poor air quality. New research on the health effects of air pollution has been published which indicates the annual standard adopted by the NSW EPA is inadequate.

Biala Wind Farm Project Submission

We support the approval of the Biala Wind Farm Project, for reasons set out in the DEA policy position on the health effects of wind farms. The EIS states that electricity production from the Biala wind project would displace electricity that would otherwise emit 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year….

Submission to the SA Government on Developing a New Climate Change Strategy for South Australia

Climate change is a priority issue for DEA. As the 1st Lancet Commission on Climate Change and Health stated in 2009, “climate change is the greatest threat to human health of the 21st century”. The consultation papers for “Developing a New Climate Change Strategy for SA” make very little reference to health. DEA believes health is central to any strategy around climate change as affirmed by the Lancet publications cited above. Our foremost recommendation is to prepare this consultative document urgently.

NT Link Project: Terms of reference submission

DEA asks governments to consider the public health impacts and health costs to present and future generations of their policies. This is particularly relevant to the Northern Territory (NT) as we make key decisions and create policy settings that will determine our energy supply and economic directions. We recommend that The Environmental Protection Authority conduct a full Health Impact Assessment in accord with existing agreements.

Victoria’s Renewable Energy Roadmap Submission

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate change from global warming is one of the greatest threats to public health and it will affect, in profoundly adverse ways, some of the most fundamental pre-requisites for good health: clean air and water, sufficient food, adequate shelter and freedom from disease……..

Review of the Climate Change Act (2010) – Victoria

Global warming is the driver of climate change, although we note that there is no mention of “global warming” in the Act of 2010. It is warming of the land, seas and atmosphere close to earth’s surface and subsequent changes to our climate that is predicted to cause increasingly profound harmful effects to human health and well being unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced substantially within the next decade……

Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire Inquiry Submission

DEA has an extensive history of advocating for the protection of health in relation to the coal industry nationally and in Victoria. Specifically relevant to the residents of Morwell and surrounding areas was DEA’s opposition at the VCAT in 2010 to the EPA approved development of a new coal fuelled power plant to be built by Dual Gas Pty Ltd. This power plant would have been situated 1 km from the Morwell township boundary, and DEA was greatly concerned for the health of local residents from an additional local air pollution source and the health implications globally from commissioning a new coal fuelled power plant when renewable alternatives are available…..

Inquiry into Unconventional Gas in Victoria – July 2015

In recent years, Australia has seen exponential growth in interest and development of exploration and drilling for unconventional gas reserves from coal seams, shale deposits and tight sands. These reserves require special techniques such as fracking, in-seam and horizontal drilling. DEA is concerned that the rush to exploit this resource has outpaced regulation to protect public health and to adequately assess the health impacts, including exposures to industrial chemicals.

Submission to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

This document addresses the future impacts of expansion of the nuclear fuel cycle industry on the South Australian environment and community (which are points (b) and (c) of the Terms of Reference). We present our health concerns essentially by quoting published sources relating to health from within the energy industry itself. We also provide an addendum listing some non-health-related issues that suggest nuclear energy is excessively costly and unsustainable.

Submissions on the Warkworth Continuation Project and the Mt Thorley Continuation Project

Of the many pending approvals of new mines in NSW, DEA made submissions on these interrelated mines for two reasons:

Submission to the Inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations

Our membership base, together with our Scientific Advisory Committee, includes many prominent and highly respected Australians who actively support our activities. DEA is completely independent from all political parties and corporations, allowing it to maintain integrity and its ability to educate on scientific sound principles at all times. Section 5.3 of the Australian Medical Council entitled ‘A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia, 2009’ states “Good medical practice involves using your expertise and influence to protect and advance the health and wellbeing of individuals, patients, communities and populations.” DEA follows this code by protecting human health through a wide range of educational and other activities aimed at preserving, restoring and preventing further degradation of natural environments.

Fin-Fish aquaculture industry in Tasmania submission

We recognise the importance of the fin-fish aquaculture industry to the state of Tasmania however if the industry is to continue to grow it must ensure that the health of Tasmania’s waterways and human health are not compromised.

Inquiry into the regulatory governance and economic impact of wind turbines

Stationary energy, as a sector, is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally and in Australia.

Submission on the National Clean Air Agreement Discussion Paper 2015

Contamination of the air we breathe is a special case of environmental exposure. Although the individual risk from air pollution is very low, exposure is ubiquitous and across the entire population so the low individual risk multiplies to a large public health problem. The scientific understanding of these risks has developed greatly in the last ten years. Exposures that were previously thought to be insignificant are now recognised as damaging to health and the range of disease outcomes attributed to air pollution is expanding.

Setting Australia’s post 2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions submission

It is important for the government to recognise that its statements on climate change are eagerly scrutinised by a world readership which is greatly concerned by the threats to humanity imposed by climate change. DEA wishes to point out the need for a radical reduction in emissions to address the serious consequences that will otherwise arise. These consequences are barely mentioned in the Issues Paper and of particular concern to us is the failure to deal with health consequences anywhere in the document.

Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration related to Commonwealth Government Affairs

The Environmental Impact Assessment process incorporates this Health Impact Assessment which includes all aspects of community health, including social and mental health aspects and social disruption. All these processes are intended to look at the balance of positive and negative impacts of the development upon which informed decisions can be made. DEA uses its expertise to determine whether these health obligations have been carried out. We have assessed whether the Queensland government has carried out these obligations in relation to resource developments.

Submission to the Climate Change Authority on future remission targets

Submission to the Climate Change Authority on the future remission targets Australia should commit to as part of an effective and equitable global effort to achieve the objective of the UNFCCC (Article 2) or subsequent agreement to which Australia is a party. Doctors for the Environment Australia recommends that Australia commit to a reduction target on 2020 levels of at least 40% by 2025 and 95% by 2050. These targets are based on the severe consequences for human health and well being if global warming is not confined to two degrees. Since the constraint of emissions will have many health co-benefits and therefore cost savings, there will be some reduction in the costs of mitigation and adaptation.

Inquiry into Unconventional Gas (Fracking) – South Australia

Members of DEA are deeply concerned by the serious threats posed to health by fracture stimulation (fracking) for unconventional (whether coal seam, shale, or tight) gas in the South East of South Australia.

Review of Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) in Tasmania submission – December 2014

Doctors for the Environment Australia reminds governments and proponents that health impact assessment is an integral part of the EIA process.  In Australia, the states operate the EIA process under Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Guidelines September 2001…….

Submission on the proposed variation to the Ambient Air Quality NEPM 2014

DEA notes that the AAQ NEPM is not enforceable by the federal government, so even if it includes standards and goals that correctly reflect current scientific thinking on the health effects of air pollution it is not a strong mechanism for ensuring that the Australian population is protected from health impacts.

Submission on the High Conservation Values Assessment and Management Plan

As a body of medical professionals, DEA is an interested stakeholder due to our interest and expertise on the intersection of health, environmental threats and damage to natural ecosystems such as High Conservation Value (HCV) Forests.

Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry Northern Territory Submission – May 2014

DEA notes the limited terms of reference for this inquiry into hydraulic fracturing. This inquiry could be used as a basis for a more general inquiry into NT energy policy, including the range of options for our own energy supply, and for export to other countries. Hydraulic fracturing enables extraction of hydrocarbon deposits which are one source of energy and economic development. NT has vast reserves of renewable energy sources, in particular solar and wind, which can be used for energy and economic development. The limitation of this inquiry to details about hydraulic fracturing obstructs our capacity to consider all options both now and into the future.

DEA Hydraulic fracturing in NT inquiry submission 04-14

Submissions to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Bill

Almost a quarter of the disease burden and deaths in the world can be attributed to environmental factors. We cannot begin to alleviate this burden of ill-health unless we address the environmental pathways and antecedent causes.

Submission on the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 EIS

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) response to the Terms of Reference (TOR) is inadequate and requires revision.

Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Public Transport

It is important to be mindful of the fact that our health, physical and mental, is dependent on our environment. There are many and various pathways by which environmental change can and does impact human health in both the short and long term. This includes how we design our built environment, generate energy, organise health services and transport infrastructure; there is also a strong interrelationship between all of these systems.  In particular, urban transport infrastructure and consequently the modes of transport we use, have a range of both direct and indirect health impacts.

Submission to the Energy White Paper Issue Paper

Planning Australia’s future energy landscape well in advance provides important opportunities to address challenges facing us and maximize energy efficiency, and security, as well as health and environmental co-benefits. However, we find the Energy White Paper (EWP) significantly flawed due to omissions or failure to consider a number of important factors.

Submission to the Great Barrier Reef Coastal Component Strategic Assessment

The Great Barrier Reef is of “natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and is of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity” (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO).

Submissions to the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project EIS and Supplementary EIS

The Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project is one of the largest proposed coal mines in Queensland, with a predicted yield of 60 million tonnes per annum from a mine site 160km northwest of Clermont plus a 189-kilometre railway line.

Submission on the draft DPEMP for the Indicoal Mining Pty Ltd, Langloh Coal Mine (Tasmania)

Although mining is not a new industry to Tasmania, this proposal, which is expected to produce over 8 million tonnes of coal to be burnt at a later stage, would mark Tasmania as yet another contributor to climate change through increasing utilization of fossil fuels. DEA has a number of concerns that this proposal, if allowed to proceed, would be to the detriment of human health in Tasmania and of global public health.

Submission on the Port Waratah Coal Services Terminal 4

Impacts of the current proposal do not stop at the perimeter fence. The loading of an extra 70 million tonnes per annum of coal is covered by this planning assessment process, but that 70 Mtpa has to be brought to port in 9,855 trains per year making 19,710 trips through each suburb along the coal corridor. This extra transport task has significant health and environmental effects.

NSW SEPP Amendment – Coal Seam Gas 2013

It is vital that new regulations such as this proposed amendment are sufficient to protect public health. However, although it is a step in the right direction, it does not adequately protect other areas at risk – our prime farming land, our water catchments, and unique natural environments like the Pilliga forest (with its state significant biodiversity). Under the changes, these natural resources remain vulnerable to the impacts of coal seam gas mining. Moreover, the amendment does not apply to existing CSG developments, with only areas exposed to new exploration and production development being assured of exclusion.

Inquiry into the Implications for Western Australia of Hydraulic Fracturing for Unconventional Gas – September 2013

It is important to firstly emphasise that hydraulic fracturing is just one process of a group of recent innovations and new technologies that have enabled the development of previously inaccessible petrochemical reserves. The other integral innovations and technologies include “slickwater”, high volumes of fluid, horizontally or directional drilling and multi-well pads and cluster drilling.

NSW SEPP (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) Submission

In the opinion of DEA, the proposed SEPP inappropriately promotes and facilitates the development of resource mining at the expense of the other valuable land uses, ecosystems, local communities, our health and the stability of our climate.

Draft significant impact guidelines: Coal seam gas submission

DEA applauds the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities for producing guidelines to clarify the implementation of the ‘water trigger’ in association with those industries that have an enormous potential impact on Australia’s water supply and quality.

Submission on Warratah Coal’s China First Project (Northern Export Facility) SEIS

The submission by Doctors for the Environment Australia to the EIS in December 2011 noted that “This EIS fails to assess the human health impacts adequately”. The SEIS also fails.

Climate Change Authority Caps and Targets Review submission

In this submission DEA outline the health imperatives to reduce Australia’s emissions as quickly as possible, and therefore put a strong case for increasing Australia’s 2020 emissions reduction target from 5% to 25%.

Submission to Adani – Abbot Point Coal Terminal 0 Environmental Impact Statement

Whilst Doctors for the Environment Australia addresses public health issues pertaining particularly to environmental causes of ill health, it is clear that good health exists within the wider context of sustainability and preservation of ecological support systems. On this basis we must make comment.

Productivity Commission – Major project development assessment processes

DEA is concerned that the Commission has not recognised the importance of protecting human health in its considerations. In our submission, we describe the need for improved regulatory outcomes and the risks associated with reforms that do not achieve this.

Submission to the Senate Committee on the impacts on health of air quality in Australia 2013

Doctors for the Environment Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the impacts on health of air quality in Australia, as this is an important public health issue to which inadequate attention has been paid to date.

South Australian Public Health Plan: South Australia: A Better Place to Live

In the Draft State Public Health Plan, the focus of the climate change priority must move from its current focus on adaptation to emphasize the urgency and priority of mitigation, with clear strategies outlined for various government and business groups.

Submission from DEA and Economists at Large on the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3

This paper looks at the draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement regarding the expansion of the existing New Acland open-cut coal mine, from 4.8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to up to 7.5 Mtpa.

Submission to Senate Inquiry for recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events

Doctors for the Environment Australia welcomes the opportunity to highlight to the Committee that the present level of national and international action on climate change, which is contributing to the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, is so inadequate that we are accelerating towards a 4°C rise in global average temperature by the end of this century (WB, 2012). If we continue on this trajectory then we have to consider how we are to live with this rapidly changing world and the damage to vital infrastructure, and in particular the subsequent health implications.

Submission on the China Stone Coal Project

The China Stone Coal Project produces 60 million tonnes of coal per annum and will be one of the biggest mines in the world.  All such mines have significant health impacts.

Solar thermal power generation at Port Augusta – SA Parliamentary Inquiry

Port Augusta has experienced pollution from its power stations for many years.

Submission to the West Australian Draft Forest Management Plan 2014-2023

The draft management plan should be acknowledged for recognising and including some of the important factors that will determine the health and sustainability of our SW forest ecosystems over coming decades.

Review of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme

DEA is concerned about the slow progress NICNAS has made in assessing existing and unassessed chemicals on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS).  One of the main functions of the regulatory system is to protect human health and well-being…..

South Australian wind farm developments inquiry and health

Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that increasing green house emissions are responsible for the climate change which is having health impacts throughout the world.

Energy White Paper: The true cost of backwards thinking

By George Crisp and David Shearman on 20 March 2012 in Renew Economy.  We thank Renew Economy.
The Draft Energy White Paper (EWP) displays a grave misunderstanding of energy issues in the 21st century……

Draft Energy White Paper Submission

Though the EWP sets out to address the legitimate aims of reducing emissions through “clean” energy, ensuring energy security and facilitating economic development, it repeatedly makes a series of assertions and assumptions that are contradictory.

Submission on the Draft Australian Dietary Guidelines

DEA is concerned about the environment and effects of human activity on environmental and ecological function. Our concern is grounded in the necessity of a well functioning environment for human health and wellbeing.

Observations concerning the Air Quality section of Environmental Impact Statement for Acland Stage 3 (Chapter 9)

Observations concerning the Air Quality section of Environmental Impact Statement for Acland Stage 3 (Chapter 9) by medical experts from Doctors for the Environment Australia.

Submission on the Regulated Trees Amendment

In SA an amendment on Regulated Trees to help development has lead to a spate of removals of mature trees by residents in Adelaide and suburbs who worry about leaves in their gutters.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation Expert Review

We note “The CEFC will act as a catalyst to private investment which is currently not available and thereby contribute to reducing carbon emissions and cleaner energy”.

DEA’s Opening Statement to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas, 17 November 2011

DEA considers the current level of assessment, monitoring and regulation of CSG exploration and mining activities in NSW to be inadequate to protect the health of current and future generations of Australians.

Submission to the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee Inquiry into management of the Murray Darling Basin – impact of mining coal seam gas

Coal seam gas mining (CSG) may have adverse impacts on human health by contamination of drinking and agricultural-use water, and air. Contaminants of concern include many of the chemicals used for fracking, as well as toxic substances produced through this process and mobilised from the sedimentary regions drilled. Some of these compounds can produce short-term health effects and some may contribute to systemic illness and/or cancer many years later.

Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms

Fossil fuels are responsible for a significant disease burden in our community contributing to climate change. Wind power and other renewable energies have the potential to reduce threats to health through reduction in air pollution and mitigation of climate change.

Sustainable Hospitals – Response to Victorian Climate Change Green Paper

Doctors for the Environment Australia has a “green hospitals group” and is taking an increasing interest in promoting action to reduce the carbon footprint of hospitals.

Inquiry into the effectiveness of House Committees submission

This submission analyses the increasing complexity of information that has to be absorbed and assessed by elected representatives in order to make appropriate decisions. House Committees are sometimes a forum for providing important factual updates to Members and Senators and the expansion of this role will be explored…

Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics on the Renewable Energy Legislation Amendment (Renewable Power Percentage) Bill 2008.

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) has major concerns about the expected effects of climate change on human health and well being. We have recently released nationally and internationally a report on this topic. It is therefore appropriate that we submit to this Senate Committee to emphasise that a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is urgent and the only way that this can be quickly accomplished is by encouraging energy saving and expanding renewable energy provision. The situation is urgent because recent scientific reports are showing that the harmful effects of climate change are arising much faster than anticipated from IPCC data. There is increasing danger that climate change may become irreversible.

Submission to the Garnaut Review

The World Health Day, celebrated on April 7 each year, creates awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organisation. For 2008  the World Health Organisation has selected the topic “protecting health from climate change” This submission to the Garnaut Committee will indicate why this topic is so important and will document from the medical and scientific literature the implications for health in Australia.

National Trading Taskforce Secretariat Submission

If these threats to health and other problems associated with climate change are to be avoided, Australia needs to take strong decisive action. The science is sufficiently clear to warrant a reduction in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions of at least 60 per cent by 2050. DEA strongly supports the development of an emissions trading scheme and believes that it will play an important and prominent role in moving Australia’s emissions profile towards this target. A national scheme would ideally be initiated by and coordinated by the Commonwealth Government. However as such action is not forthcoming, the joint initiative by the States and Territories Governments is to be commended.

US Free Trade Agreement Submission

The USA and Australia recognise the interdependence of nations in counteracting threats to all (eg “terror”) and call for concerted action. By contrast, USFTA fails to recognise that Australia is part of a world which for its future survival, must recognise the interdependence of all peoples and its ecological systems. DEA has a major philosophical problem with the proposal; it smacks of self- interest. It promotes possible, though unproven, short-term economic gains for the participants without consideration of the long-term consequences for future generations. It is an agreement with the intent of benefiting two wealthy countries. There is no recognition that USFTA and other trade agreements might have long-term consequences for all nations by accelerating environmental damage, so creating a future debt for all….



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