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Coal Health Impacts in the Hunter

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Senate votes to keep paper trail on altered coal dust report behind closed doors

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has accused federal Labor and Liberal MPs of working together to block public access to the documents that could explain why the data and recommendations of a Hunter coal dust report commissioned by the federal government's Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) were substantially changed before final release.

A copy of the draft ARTC report, leaked to the Australian Greens and a Newcastle community group, showed significant changes between the draft and final report that downplayed the extent of particulate dust from coal trains.

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Labor should not use dodgy ARTC coal dust study to belittle health concerns

Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon has warned the Labor government against using a deficient ARTC study released today to shirk its responsibility to carefully consider the health impacts of coal dust.

"The ARTC report is compromised by methodological shortcomings, has not been independently reviewed and fails to consider the cumulative health impacts of dust from coal stockpiles, mining and road and rail transport," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Labor and Coalition join to block Hunter coal health inquiry

Despite noises of concern from federal MPs in the Hunter about the adverse health impacts of polluting coal dust, Labor and the Coalition joined forces in the Senate today to vote down a motion to establish a Senate Inquiry into the health impacts of coal mining, coal transport and coal export in the Hunter.

"Hunter residents will be disappointed that today in the Senate, Labor voted against setting up an inquiry into health impacts of coal dust on Hunter residents," said Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

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