Instead of trying to “shoot the messenger”, the Qld Resources Council should support community efforts to keep Brisbane free of coal dust pollution, says Clean Air Queensland (CAQ).
CAQ, over several months, monitored coal dust pollution from trains passing through densely-populated areas of Brisbane. The report - ‘Health Hazard in our Suburbs’ – was released today and shows coal train pollution readings of 900 per cent above normal levels.
"Not surprisingly, the QRC has criticised our report instead of working with the community and the government to fix what is recognised as a worldwide problem,” CAQ spokesman, Michael Kane said.
“We are disappointed that the industry causing the pollution has failed to respect the report that is a serious attempt to highlight a health hazard potentially affecting thousands of people in south-east Queensland.
“Particulate pollution from coal trains is carcinogenic and our study clearly shows that coal trains are emitting particulate pollution in east Brisbane. This should be a concern for all of us.”
Mr Kane, who conducted pollution monitoring for the study, said the solution to the coal dust pollution was simple: Cover the coal trains.
The Council’s estimates of the benefits of mining to Australia are greatly exaggerated. The Australia Institute figures show:
- Coal mining is one of the smallest employers in the Qld economy - just 1.2% of employment.
- Coal mining in Qld is 80% foreign owned with all the profits going directly offshore.
- Coal royalties were expected to make up just 4% of QLD government revenue in 2013/14. New Hope’s Acland Mine delivers NO royalties to Qld.
- Last year $1.5 billion of QLD taxpayers’ money was used to assist the mining industry, while teachers and health workers were laid off.
- Mining royalties are a payment for the finite resources owned by the people of QLD and are deductible against commonwealth taxes.
Mr Kane invited industry representatives to attend a community-run barbeque at Wynnum this Saturday to meet affected residents and discuss why there is so much coal dust in their homes and their health issues.
What: Clean Air Queensland's Community BBQ
When: Saturday, May 9 at 1pm
Where: Wynnum Water Park, corner of The Esplanade and Charlotte Street, Wynnum
Contact: Michael Kane Ph. 0438 766 230