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Newcastle set to host Senate Inquiry into Air Pollution

Lee Rhiannon 9 Apr 2013

Newcastle has been confirmed as the first site for public hearings in the Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry into Air Pollution, scheduled next Tuesday 16 April. The Greens will host a public meeting on the eve of the Senate hearings at Newcastle Town Hall.

"Securing a Senate hearing in Newcastle is a win for the local campaign and a testament to the flood of submissions sent into the Inquiry from people concerned about the health impacts of coal dust in the Hunter", said Greens Senator Lee Rhianon.

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Coal dust results demand Hunter inquiry hearings and T4 rejection

Federal Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon should be working alongside the Greens to secure hearings in the Hunter of a Senate inquiry into the impacts of air quality on health in light of new research results showing coal dust levels injurious to residents' health, says Australian Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

"CTAG's study results show coal dust fine particles, which scientists are dubbing ‘the new asbestos', at levels dangerous to human health and Mr Fitzgibbon should be ashamed of his past stance arguing against Senate hearings in the Hunter ," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Motion for Hunter inquiry into health impacts of coal expansion

Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon gave notice of a motion calling for an inquiry into the impact the proposed T4 coal loader in Newcatle Harbour and the Hunter Valley coal rail, coal mining and coal export industry has on air quality and public health.

Notice of Motion - Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales)

 

I give notice that on 21 November 2012 I will move:

That the Senate—

1)      Notes that:

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Albanese refusal to accept responsibility for coal dust wrong: Greens

The federal government, as a key funder of billions of dollars of coal rail infrastructure in the Hunter Valley, should use its clout to force coal companies to cover coal rail wagons rather than push responsibility back to the NSW government, said Greens Senator and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon (Newcastle Herald, 6/8/12, http://tinyurl.com/9m4v267).

"Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese is wrong to say covering coal wagons is a state matter," said Senator Rhiannon.

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Lee questions whether 4th Newcastle coal terminal must go ahead

Port Waratah Coal Service (PWCS) in their public comments and public materials in support of the T4 proposal, have created the perception that they are legally obliged by and to the ACCC, via the Capacity Framework Arrangements (CFA), to build T4 once they have reached capacity shortfall of 145 million tonnes in take or pay contracts. PWCS asserts that they now have take-or-pay contracts totalling 176.6 million tonnes per year.

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Profits, farm ownership shift offshore in major coal takeover

News that Gloucester Coal shareholders have approved a merger with Chinese state-owned company Yancoal Australia will pave the way for coal profits and ownership of Hunter farmland to shift offshore, said Green Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

Gloucester Coal operates the Stratford and Duralie mines in the Gloucester Basin, Tasman and Abel mines in the Newcastle coalfield and has interests in Middlemount mine in the Bowen Basin.

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Rhiannon puts Mudgee mega mines in federal parliament spotlight

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon last night in federal parliament pointed the finger at state and federal governments for not considering the cumulative impact of the Mudgee mega coal mines - Ulan, Wilpinjong, Moolarben - on the precious Goulburn water catchment.

In her speech to the Senate (in full below), Senator Rhiannon noted the massive scale of the foreign-owned Ulan, Wilpinjong and Moolarben mines. Combined these mines will produce a total of 52 million tonnes of coal each year, destined for export to Asian markets:

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