It’s time we took the air we breathe more seriously.
Industries continue to pump dangerous emissions into our atmosphere that have huge costs to human health – and Australia’s air quality protections are lagging behind.
The Greens will deliver a Clean Air Act to cut toxic pollution and help keep our most precious resource clean and healthy.
Coal communities like the Hunter don’t have the information they need to assess the risks to their health from coal dust. We’ll make sure that Australians finally have accurate data on the air quality near their homes with national monitoring.
Reducing Coal Pollution in the Hunter Valley
The Greens’ recent Senate inquiry heard evidence about the impacts of coal mines and coal dust on the communities near the mines and in the corridors where coal is transported. The inquiry recommended several measures to reduce the harms caused by coal dust pollution including:
- A setback from all coal mines to keep homes at a safe distance.
- Health impact assessments for new developments, so the impact on the health of residents is properly taken into account when issuing approvals.
- Covering trains that transport coal through populated areas. Many residents gave evidence of the huge amounts of dust that accumulate in neighbourhoods close to coal trains and the impact this had on their family’s health.
These are inexpensive but effective measures to cut down on harmful particles that threaten the health of thousands of people in Australian cities.
The Greens support these recommendations and would implement them through the Clean Air Act and other initiatives.
The Clean Air Solution
The Clean Air Act contains measures that will make a real difference to air quality for many Australians. But there are no safe levels of exposure to the ultrafine particles that can penetrate deepest into our lungs. That is why the Greens would move as rapidly as possible to achieve nationwide, enforceable standards around particulate pollution.
The Greens care about health and we believe that our wellbeing should not take a back seat to commercial interests. All mining developments should first undergo a rigorous health impact assessment to estimate the consequences it would have on the health of the community.
These measures put health first where it belongs.
Australians should be able to breathe easy, knowing that it is safe to breathe the air in their homes.