Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Adani coal mine dispute: it’s not only about money, and climate: there’s also black lung disease for miners

Does Queensland really want Adani’s dirty, black lung inducing jobs? Independent Australia  David Shearman 30 May 2017On top of ecological destruction and $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies, will the re-emergence of black lung disease, due to government regulatory incompetence, be the final nail in Adani’s Carmichael mine coffin? Dr David Shearman reports.

ON A DAY WHEN a Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry finds catastrophic administrative failures resulted in the reappearance in pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) – a serious but preventable disease – Queenslanders should be asking themselves some important questions.

In particular, whether their State and Federal governments have the competence to deliver the Adani Carmichael mine with its ephemeral jobs and riches or whether the collateral damage to them and to Queensland is likely to be too great.

The reappearance of black lung disease in our wealthy, advanced country is an indictment of health monitoring in the coal industry, for which the Queensland Government has the ultimate responsibility to set health standards. The Parliamentary ‘Inquiry into the re-identification of Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis in Queensland’ identified “major system failures at virtually all levels” and this includes the medical assessments.

Parliamentarians who fondle coal and spruik it as “cheap” need to recognise the true cost of coal lies in the suffering of workers, and the community from air pollution from its mining and combustion. Coal is heavily subsidised by the health services for the cost of care of a significant proportion of the 3,000 Australians who die each year from air pollution.

In promoting this mine, the Queensland and Federal governments have already dismissed the likely demise of the Great Barrier Reef, the significant impact on world greenhouse emissions and the climate of Australia, the increasingly poor image depicted in the international media of Queensland and the concerns of our Pacific Island neighbours about new coal mines. In the face of black lung, the competence of the Queensland Government to regulate and monitor the development and running of this vast mine has to be questioned. It will be difficult to find any reassurance.

Imposed on the Adani mine development are 270 conditions that will need monitoring and supervision by the Queensland Government. Many of these relate to water security, because inland Queensland with its probable drying climate has human and agricultural demands on its water. Unlimited use of water from the Great Artesian Basin is to be allowed in the face of concerns expressed by an eminent scientific committee. These included the impact from possible pressure reduction in bores and impacts on existing settlements.

The possible health consequences of the Adani mine have been detailed by Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) in a fact sheet with a foreword by Professor Fiona Stanley.

Let us look at the record of successive Queensland governments…..https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/does-queensland-really-want-adanis-dirty-black-lung-inducing-jobs,10348

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May 31, 2017 - Posted by | health, Queensland

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