Senate debates

Wednesday, 13 March 2013



4:13 pm

Photo of Lee RhiannonLee Rhiannon (NSW, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) recent independent air quality testing in Hunter suburbs near the coal rail line that leads to Newcastle Harbour revealed coal dust pollution levels over 50 per cent above the national standard for particulates 10 micron and less, which affects approximately 30 000 people living within 500 metres of the rail line,

(ii) there are no known safe levels of exposure to particulate pollution, and international studies have demonstrated direct causal links between particulate pollution and adverse health impacts such as asthma, increased risks of cancer, heart and lung disease and birth defects, including in mining regions,

(iii) a current Senate inquiry into the impacts on health of air quality has received many submissions from concerned groups and individuals based in the Hunter,

(iv) Hunter residents will express their concern that air pollution and coal dust from coal mines, coal trains and coal stockpiles is adversely affecting their health and the environment at a community rally in Newcastle on Saturday, 16 March 2013, organised by the Coal Terminal Action Group (CTAG), a coalition of 18 Hunter based community groups, and

(v) the community rally will ask state and federal governments to reject the proposal by Port Waratah Coal Services to construct a new fourth coal export terminal called T4 in Newcastle Harbour that would drive up further coal dust pollution and adversely impact the environment;

(b) congratulates CTAG and the wider Hunter community for taking action to protect their health and the local environment against the impact of coal industry expansion; and

(c) calls on the New South Wales Government and the Federal Government to reject the T4 project.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The question is that the motion be agreed to.