Rocky Hill OpEd

Rocky Hill OpEd

Whether you are a Gloucester resident or a visitor to the area, we all appreciate Gloucester as an area of natural beauty. This of course makes it inconceivable to develop an open cut coalmine so close to town.

Living near open cut coalmines has been shown to be detrimental to one’s health. There is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, high blood pressure, kidney disease and strokes. Children are at increased risk of asthma, high lead levels and school absences. Pregnant women have an increased risk of neural tube defects and low birth weight in their babies.

This coal will of course be eventually burnt resulting in an increase in carbon emissions. The 2015 Paris Agreement brought countries together who agreed to limit global emissions to keep global temperature below 2°C with an aim for an even lower target of 1.5°C. This of course means burning less coal.

Due to the burning of coal there are at least 210,000 premature deaths worldwide each year. This is a result of poor air quality but also due to extreme weather events secondary to global warming. Increasingly we are seeing these extreme weather events. We have seen the worst bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef ever recorded. We have seen an unprecedented 700 kilometres of tropical mangroves die and swathes of alpine Tasmanian landscape burnt. We have had 16 consecutive months of increasing global temperatures. Just think of it – each month for the last 16 months has had a higher average temperature than the previous month. Scientific warnings are becoming our new reality.

Rocky Hill coal mine is a potential health and environmental disaster.

Please make a submission opposing this mine by October 14th either through the Groundswell Gloucester website or on formal letter available through Gloucester Health Foods.

Dr Garry Lyford, Gloucester
Dr John Van Der Kallen, Newcastle

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