Submission in response to the National Preventive Health Strategy Consultation Paper. 

A consultation paper was released by the federal Department of Health calling for feedback on a National Preventive health framework to guide its strategy for the next decade. The consultation paper failed to fully consider the underlying environmental and social determinants of health which is a vital part of any preventive health strategy. DEA provided a submission to comment on the consultation paper and DEA recommended actions to mobilise an effective preventive system that included leadership and effective action for an immediate reduction in fossil fuel usage, better preparation for extreme weather events, and better safeguards and protections for Australia’s environments. DEA’s submission is here.  

Submission to the Environment and Planning Committee of the Victorian Legislative Assembly

The Environment and Planning Committee of the Victorian Legislative Assembly has called for submissions to an inquiry into the current and future arrangements to secure environmental infrastructure, particularly parks and open space, for a growing population in Melbourne and across regional centres.  DEA strongly endorses the view that the environmental and social conditions in which people live and work are now widely accepted as important determinants of health and illness and that human health must be considered in all policies related to planning environmental infrastructure. Click here for DEA's submission

Submission: A Stronger Tomorrow - State Infrastructure Strategy discussion paper

The Western Australian government recently called for submissions on their A Stronger Tomorrow - State Infrastructure Strategy discussion paper.  DEA supports the concept and proposal of taking a long term and broad approach to infrastructure planning and development starting with an assessment of current infrastructure. Our view as a medical organisation is that health should be a central consideration in planning, development and policy. DEA identified notable health related omissions both in content and methodology in the discussion paper and scenarios. To read DEA's full submission click here

Submission: Parliamentary Inquiry into Ecosystem Decline in Victoria.

Human health is indivisible from healthy, biodiverse ecosystems. When we allow biodiversity and ecosystems to decline or be lost, we compromise the essentials for survival - our food security, our water resources, the air we breathe and the stability of our climate.  Addressing the ecosystem decline in Victoria will be an enormous challenge, however DEA believes the potential negative consequences of inaction to human health and welling being , makes it clear that immediate action is needed. Click here to read DEA's full submission

Submission to the EES for the proposed AGL/APA Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project at Western Port, Victoria

AGL and APA are seeking approval for the building of an LNG import facility and pipeline in Western Port, Victoria. The area is environmentally sensitive, in the middle of a Ramsar wetland, and has generated fierce community, Council and MP opposition. DEA's Submission.

ZOONOSES: joining the dots between people, animals and the natural world 

Zoonosis is an infectious disease that can be passed from an animal to a human. Our newest fact sheet explores zoonotic diseases, how ongoing human encroachment on natural habitats has led to an increase in zoonotic diseases over the past 30 years, posing a major risk to the human race and how it is vital that we start protecting and preserving nature so that it can protect us.

Resources Sector Regulation draft report

DEA recently provided input into the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Resources Sector Regulation as regulation of this sector has the task of balancing economic gains from extraction with losses from environmental destruction and pollution.  DEA believes that all resource sector activities should consider short- and long term health and environmental impacts, and work within a system that respects expertise, fairness, transparency and accountability. Click here to read the full submission

EPBC Review Interim Report _ DEA Response

On Monday July 20, the interim report of the EPBC Act review was released by Professor Graeme Samuel, the chair of the review panel. This included some positive proposals, but on the whole failed to present a reform agenda commensurate with the environmental crisis we face. In fact, some of the report’s recommendations have the potential a lead to a lowering of environmental protections at a time when entire ecosystems are on the brink of collapse. Click here to read what DEA's response to the interim report will focus on. 

Supplementary Submission to Narrabri Gas Project

DEA strongly opposes the Narrabri Gas Project and submitted its first submission to object to the Narrabri Gas Project in 2017.  This supplementary submission addresses the inadequacies and deficiencies in the Narrabri Gas Project application and why DEA maintains that gas is a health hazard. Click here to read the full supplementary submission 

Submission to the NSW Independent Planning Commission regarding the Vickery Extension Project 

It is the position of DEA that ongoing coal mining and combustion poses an unacceptable health risk due to greenhouse gas emissions.  DEA is one of many health and medical organisations across the globe calling for urgent action to mitigate climate change. Collectively these groups have highlighted the devastating impact a warming climate will have on human health.   The specific effects of rising temperatures on human health are summarised in this submission, leading to our conclusion that approving the Vickery Extension Project is not in the interests of Australia or of human health on the international scale. 

Submission on Urannah dam and pipelines project and Collinsville irrigation scheme project

DEA has provided a submission on the Proposed Actions 2020/8708 and 2020/8709 . DEA recommends that both actions be assessed under the EPBC Act as they are likely to have significant impact on World Heritage properties and National Heritage places.

The full submission can be accessed here.

Submission: Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap

The Australian Government invited brief commentary on their Technology Roadmap to guide investment in energy generation over the next few decades. One key concept in this Roadmap is the notion of technology “neutrality”. However, this concept should be rejected as technologies are not equivalent in their potential to reduce emissions. There are sufficient zero-emitting technologies available for further development without wasting resources on fossil-fuels. The Roadmap also fails as it does not have a “destination”, that is, a well-defined emissions-reduction target. For details of DEA’s submission, see here.

Janek Szymanowski Pixabay

Submission to the Issues Paper on Health Arrangements in Natural Disasters - Bushfires Royal Commission

The Royal Commission on the 2019-20 summer bushfires released an Issues Paper in May, specifically addressing the health care arrangements of natural disasters. DEA’s submission calls for a national health and climate change strategy to include better public health information, a nationalised approach to air quality monitoring and reporting, more research on the health impacts of smoke events better integration of primary health care providers in emergency responses. Read our submission here.

Why Doctors are concerned about a “gas-led recovery” from pandemic

Outlined in the attached frequently asked questions, are the many problems methane poses for the environment and human health and why doctors are calling for an alternative solution to the "gas-led" recovery from the Covid19 pandemic.

Lessons to be learnt in relation to the Australian bushfire season 2019-20

DEA has provided a submission to the Senate inquiry, Lessons to be Learnt in relation to the 2019-20 bushfire season. DEA recommendations include the need for more research into the effects of long term exposure to bushfire smoke and better public health advice on how to best protect ourselves from its health impacts. It must be recognised that the underlying driver of Australia's worsening bushfire seasons is climate change.

Submission into the 2019-2020 Independent Review of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act

DEA believes that the flaws in the EPBC Act are too significant to be addressed by amendments alone. A new generation of environmental law is needed to restore past damage and cope with the scale of future challenges. This law must provide the Commonwealth with the powers it needs to fulfil a greater leadership role in the protection of Australia’s environment, as compared with the current situation where much of this task is left to the states and territories

I've joined DEA - now what can I do?

Doctors for the Environment Australia appreciates the contribution of all members. If you renew your membership each year, that is a valued contribution. If you’re looking to do more, this short brochure lists the many additional ways in which you can make a difference, including opportunities to engage with like-minded colleagues.

Fact sheet: Home gas appliances and your health

Although natural gas is often seen as a ‘clean’ fuel, this is a myth. All gas-burning appliances produce pollutants. Our latest fact sheet examines the health impacts of indoor gas use and to how to reduce the risks. It also lists five major recommendations to reduce  the negative impacts of gas on our homes, our planet and our hip pockets.

Campaigns Committee members : Deadline Extended

This is members-only content - please log in to view. Alternatively, if you are a Doctor or Medical Student, please join DEA.

Royal Commission into National Disaster Arrangements (Bushfires Royal Commission) April 2020. 

The health impacts of last summer’s devastating bushfire season are serious, complex and wide-ranging and health is integral to making decisions about emergency and disaster responses. More research is needed to fill the gaps in our knowledge, especially about the long term impacts of prolonged exposure to bushfire smoke. Importantly, the main driver of our longer and more intense bushfire seasons is climate change.

Greta, Rebeca, Milo et al: Young people leading climate emergency change

This is members-only content - please log in to view. Alternatively, if you are a Doctor or Medical Student, please join DEA.

Submission on the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment Bill 2020 

DEA strongly supports the inclusion of downstream or Scope 3 emissions (Appendix 1) in greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting. The health impacts of GHG emissions are not limited by international borders as all emissions drive climate change and increase global temperatures. 

Submission to NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into the costs for remediation of sites containing coal ash repositories 

The process of coal combustion leads to a concentration of trace elements in the resulting waste ash. While exposure to the traces of these elements in nature does not usually result in toxicity, their concentration in coal ash has the potential for dysfunction of multiple organ systems. 

Submission to the NSW Planning Department on the expansion of the Glendell mine in the Hunter Valley. 

The Hunter Valley already has the worst PM10* air pollution in New South Wales.   DEA considers that the Glendell expansion proposal is not in the national or local community interest and should be rejected on the grounds of local air quality impacts and on global climate grounds, which have severe adverse health impacts at both a local and global scale. 

Open flued gas space heaters discussion paper submission.

Gas is often regarded as a ‘clean’ fuel, but air pollutants released from the combustion of methane indoors can cause or exacerbate illness involving the heart, lungs brain or nervous system. Open flued gas space heaters (OFSGHs) can sometimes provide a direct pathway for these pollutants into a room.  DEA recommends a phase out of OFGSHs, which includes a ban on all new installations (Option 3).

Victoria’s new environmental laws submission

This submission focuses primarily upon aspects of the new EP laws as they relate to air pollution and climate change, as these are closely related to DEA policy and expertise. DEA expertise is medical rather than legal and our submission is made upon this basis

Submission on Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Territorial Limits) Bill 2019

DEA objects to the proposed Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Territorial Limits) Bill 2019. Eliminating assessment of downstream or Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions from major projects in New South Wales will increase greenhouse gas emissions, driving increased climate change whose health impacts will be felt on a local and global scale. 

Submission to Application for a RIDA for Acland Coal Stage 3 Project

While Australia burns as part of the climate crisis, the State of Queensland continues its fervent quest to develop more coal. This is the sixth submission written on New Hope Coal mine by DEA since 2012.   

New fact sheet: Heatwaves and Health in Australia

Heatwaves have been called ‘silent’ killers and, without reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, they are predicted to become more frequent, more intense and longer. DEA's new comprehensive fact sheet uses the most up- to- date authoritative resources to detail the impacts of heatwaves on our health, what we can do to reduce their occurrence, where health professionals and the public can find more information, and much more.  

Biodiversity Policy

Natural ecosystems support our health by filtering our air, providing fresh water and food, regulating our climate and protecting against the spread of disease and pests. They also foster our psychological and spiritual wellbeing and serve as places of recreation and sources of nature-based jobs in tourism and other vocations. 

Biodiversity Position Statement

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) is focussed on the complex interaction between human health and our natural environment and is therefore interested in environmental restoration and the protection of biodiversity to promote human health and social stability. A global environment that supports biodiversity is better able to support human health. This is a topic of utmost urgency, given the alarming decline in biodiversity in recent years.

Food For Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Fact Sheet

Our new fact sheet highlights that the foundation of good health is a healthy diet, and  that climate change, biodiversity loss, water pollution and soil loss are major and imminent threats to human and planetary health. Changing the type of foods that we eat, and the way that foods are produced, distributed, and marketed, is one of the most effective actions we can take to improve the health of individuals, and stave off environmental disaster. 

Submission: Sustainability of energy supply and resources in NSW

The Environment and Planning Committee of NSW Parliament conducted an inquiry into the sustainability of energy supply and resources in NSW. DEA provided a submission the inquiry.

The submission can be found here.

Dendrobium Mine Expansion Proposal Submission

DEA is concerned about the ongoing mining activities occurring within the Greater Sydney Water Catchment, and the effects of this mining on the water security of over 5 million people. There is increasing evidence of damage to groundwater systems that supply Sydney's drinking water from mining operations, and this expansion proposal comes at a time when dam levels are below 50% capacity and water restrictions are in place. The Dendrobium Mine Expansion will only further these damaging impacts, placing the water supply in even more precarious territory.

WA EPA's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment Guidance

WA EPA is working in an environment of federal policy failures in acknowledging, committing to and effectively reining in emissions, and no appetite for effective taxation or emissions trading policies. The EPA carries a significant responsibility for preventing a substantial magnitude of potential GHG emissions from resources in WA and protecting its highly vulnerable population and environment to climate impacts.

Australia’s faunal extinction crisis

This Senate Committee on faunal extinction has a very important role because presently it is the only parliamentary voice in a position to make a statement on the interlocking and rapidly progressing climate change and biodiversity emergencies which are the basis for faunal extinctions. The Senate Committee is able to make recommendations for further national action and might consider means by which these national security issues can be developed further. Doctors don’t use the word, emergency lightly; we indicate that we must urgently address this climate and biodiversity emergency.

Climate Health WA Inquiry

The impacts of climate change on the health of our community are an urgent issue that needs addressing by government with both attention and resources. The public health community has rapidly increased its engagement on climate change and health in recent years, providing better understanding of the links between climate change and health and raising awareness of the significant health threats. Given the primary importance of the health and well-being of Western Australians, we anticipate the proceedings and findings of the inquiry to also inform these other processes.

Isaac Downs Project Submission

The prime consideration of the project must be whether it complies with the need for Queensland and Australian sustainability in view of the climate change and biodiversity emergencies. 

Expert Position Statement on health-based standards for Australian regulated thresholds of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and ozone in ambient air 

Ambient air pollution contributes to over 3000 premature deaths each year in Australia. Even at low concentrations, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone (O3) are impacting public health. The joint statement from Australia's key health groups addresses the pending long-awaited revision of national standards for these harmful air pollutants whose standards are currently set well-above international best practice levels. Read the full statement HERE.

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

An expanding body of research literature describes the links between climate change and mental health. Extreme weather events have serious, long-term and complex impacts on mental health, and extreme weather events are more frequent, intense, and complex under a changing climate. Climate change also accentuates the inequities within our society, and vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected by mental health impacts.

Project changes to the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project submission

This is yet another application from the infamous Acland New Hope mine for expansion even before its previous application for a new water license has been decided. Over many years the local community and land holders has suffered from noise, air pollution, and water usage which has affected its health with inadequate action from the state government or company.

Winchester South Project Draft Terms of Reference for an Environmental Impact Statement submission

In Australia, Queensland will be damaged most from climate change progression and it is clearly illogical for Queensland to promote its own demise. We recommend that climate change impacts from the development of this mine be the prime consideration in its assessment. Secondary considerations will be water, need for metallurgical coal, biodiversity of the entire region and possible economic benefit. 

Underground Water Impact Report for the Surat Cumulative Management Area

Doctors for the Environment Australia believes that this report must be seen in the context of possible harm to the sustainability of Queensland and Australia, and in this regard we are concerned with sustainability of two pillars of human health; water resources and the maintenance of food producing land which in turn depends on its supporting biodiversity. These essentials need to have priority over resource development, which can be transient, and result in lasting harms. 

Draft Marine and Coastal Policy

This submission was sent by DEA to the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning to comment on the final Marine and Coastal Policy which outlines how the marine and coastal environment should be planned for and managed. The submission is available here.

Proposed variation to the ambient air quality measure standards for ozone, NO2 and SO2 submission

Australia’s air pollution standards, known as National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM), were set in 1998 and are long overdue for revision. These standards are intended to protect public health, but they have not kept up with new research on the health impacts of air pollution. Health effects occur at lower concentrations than previously thought. Many foreign jurisdictions review their air standards every five or ten years and have progressively lowered permissible levels over time. The particle standards were updated in 2015, and the current review is for sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone. These three pollutants are quick acting respiratory irritants, but NO2 and possibly ozone also have long term effects. 

Modernisation of Victorian Regional Forestry Agreements submission

DEA has made a submission on the Victorian Government’s review of its Regional Forestry Agreements (RFA). RFA’s are agreements between State and Federal governments which enable logging to occur without the oversight of national environmental protections. They were written some 20 years ago and the 5 agreements which cover Victoria are in the process of expiring.

Review of Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria (2021-2030)

The Victorian Government appointed an Independent Expert Panel to advise on 5-yearly sector pledges on emission reduction targets (ERTs) up to 2030, under provisions of the Climate Change Act 2017. DEA believes that the Panel’s advice of 32-39% by 2025 and 40-60% by 2030 is sound but only if the upper level of each target is the ultimate aim. It is only these upper limits which would enable Victoria to achieve its legislated target of net-zero emissions by 2050 without placing an unfair burden on either the current or future generations. 

Winchester South Project submission

Whitehaven Coal’s proposed open-cut metallurgical coal mine,  the Winchester South Coal Project  in the Bowen Basin, Queensland, has been referred to the Federal Government in three separate applications for the mine site and access road, the water supply pipeline and the electricity transmission line. It is essential that the government now ensures a full Environmental Impact Assessment for every new development project which releases greenhouse gas emissions, using independent consensus science. This is critical, as climate disruption is a clear threat to our health and to the economic system which underpins all our human endeavours, and indeed to our civilisation. Read DEA's submission HERE.

DEA Fact Sheet: Oil Spills & Health Don't Mix

Drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight remains a real and dangerous possibility, with Norwegian company Equinor planning to commence exploratory drilling in 2020. This fact sheet outlines the known health impacts of oil spills which pose serious risks to the physical and mental health of people exposed to oil, their families and their communities.

Origin Kyalla drilling and hydraulic fracturing 2019

The NT gas development which will result in GHG emissions many times greater than those of the Adani mine will commence in the next few months. DEA has made this submission to the Environmental Management Plan on the Kyalla drilling proposal. The "achievements" of these developments which are strongly supported by the NT governments and by the Federal Coalition and Labor will be to make international emissions difficult to contain and a 2°C rise will be likely; Australia with NT and WA development will be the world’s largest gas exporter.

DEA Information Leaflet

This is the main DEA information handout in the form of a tri-fold sheet leaflet.

Wollar Solar Farm submission

It is important for the development of the vital renewable energy industry that appropriate developments proceed in order to build the skill base and employment opportunities for people working in the renewable energy industry in order to improve and accelerate the rollout of these projects over the coming decade.

Food Security in a Changing Climate

Food Security in a Changing Climate: This video is a reminder of the threat posed to our climate, our water, our oceans and our agriculture by oil and gas exploration and production. In the video Anne Daw, agricultural advocate and member of the Round Table on Oil and Gas SA, Anne Poelina, Nyikina Traditional Custodian and Master of Tropical Medicine Notre Dame University, DEA's Graeme McLeay, and Peter Owen, Wilderness Society SA Director point to the impacts of fossil fuels on food security in our region.

New Acland coal mine expansion

DEA has provided a submission to the Queensland government opposing a water licence for the Acland mine extension. This continues the saga of pollution and harm to local inhabitants over the past decade. Over that time, DEA has made two submissions and attended the Land Court case as expert witness . Yet the company and the Queensland government are still intent on approval. This story provides every reason why New Environmental Laws are needed in Australia. Read the submission here.

Doctors call for action on climate change

With the election just 2 weeks away, show that as a doctor, you support strong climate action, by downloading this poster and having it in your waiting room or office.

Leigh Creek Energy Underground Coal Gasification submission

The state of SA has decided that it will try and perform better than Queensland in establishing an underground coal gasification (UCG) enterprise. They need to be reminded that the process has ended in disaster for the environment and workers in about half of all UCG developments nationally and internationally. There has never been a health impact assessment for any UCG development. 

Our submission to stop drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight

DEA has joined the Wilderness Society campaign to stop drilling for oil in the pristine waters of our Great Australian Bight. We have made a submission on the Stromlo-1 Exploration Drilling Programme to NOPSEMA with the recommendation that the proposal should not be approved. The risk from drilling, though small, cannot be avoided, and the outcome on the sustainability of the Bight from a major spill far outweigh any transitory economic benefits. Furthermore, impacts on climate change from expanded oil production are unacceptable.

Moolarben Coal Mine Stage 1 and 2 Modifications Submission

The mine at Moolarben has previously been approved to mine 18 million tonnes per year of production coal during the period until 2038. The original approval was granted in 2007, however, since that time climate change induced drought and altered fire regimens have become much more severe, and the urgency of taking swift action to reduce atmospheric carbon emissions is greater. This has been recognised in international treaties like the Paris accord, and in local legal judgements such as Gloucester Resources Ltd vs Minister for Planning 2019. What was assessed as being in the community interest in 2007 may no longer be in the community interest in 2019. The medical community is increasingly concerned by mortality during heat waves, food insecurity due to crop failures, deaths due to extreme weather events, and the spread of tropical diseases to temperate zones.

Tahmoor South Coal Project Submission

DEA is one of many health and medical organisations calling for urgent action to mitigate climate change. In Australia, these include the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian Medical Association (AMA). Internationally, they include the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the pre-eminent medical journal, The Lancet. Collectively these groups have highlighted the devastating impact a warming climate will have on human health.

Onshore Oil and Gas Policy Background paper 2019

Australia plans to become one of the World’s largest producers of natural gas The paper reviews all referenced literature on the mining of gas, potential local harms on the environment and community health from gas mining and its many complex process. It identifies evidence of some health  harms which are already occurring in residents close  to  mines  and in particular in the newborn. Of even greater concern is the greenhouse emission profile of gas production which on recent evidence is probably only marginally less than coal, thus negating its use as a transition to renewable energy.

United Wambo Open Cut Coal Mine Project Submission

DEA recommends that the New South Wales Government Independent Planning Commission oppose the United Wambo Open Cut Coal Mine project on the grounds of negative health effects of climate change, air pollution, social impacts, water quality and environmental risk as well as the economic damage to the infrastructure of Australia and not least to the lives of individual Australians.

Review of the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 submission

DEA is pleased to comment as a ‘relevant health organisation’ on the operation of the South Australian Public Health Act 2011. DEA notes that the review is intended to consider if, in the first 5 years since commencement of the Act, the objects have been achieved, including if the powers, structures and tools established under the Act have been effective in providing the framework to achieve the objectives in promoting, preserving and protecting the public health of South Australians. 

Mineral Resources (Galilee Basin) Amendment Bill 2018 Submission

The Queensland government is considering a new bill - the Mineral Resources (Galilee Basin) Amendment Bill 2018 - that would effectively stop all coal mining in the Galilee Basin. DEA has  provided a submission to the parliamentary committee outlining the compelling reasons the Mineral  Bill should be approved. The risks to water security, ecosystems and air pollution are cause enough, but the overarching concern are the enormous health, economic, security and environmental costs of an inadequate response to global warming. The report’s due date is 30th April 2019. 

How Land Clearing Harms Our Health: Fact Sheet

Forests and native vegetation like grasslands, wetlands and woodlands are vital to our wellbeing yet in Australia we are currently seeing an explosion in land clearing. This has wide ranging and harmful implications for human health.

Why We Need Forests and Native Vegetation for Our Health: Fact Sheet

Forests and native vegetation like grasslands, wetlands and woodlands support our health and the environment in which we live. From purifying our air and water to providing food, medicines and places of psychological restoration. 

Onshore oil and gas mining and human health - DEA Position Statement

Continued expansion of natural gas development in Australia carries serious risks for human health and wellbeing both locally and globally. These concerns are detailed in a our Policy Paper on this issue. 

Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition) Bill 2018 Submission

Further expansion of coal mining is incompatible with action to mitigate climate change . The Australian Government’s consideration of coal-mining in the Galilee Basin highlights the serious disconnect between genuine government commitment to emissions reduction policies, both domestically and as a signatory to the Paris agreement and the approval of new coal mining projects.

AGL APA Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project submission

DEA’s overarching concern is clear evidence of the substantial and rising greenhouse gas footprint of Australia’s expanding gas and oil industry that threatens efforts to urgently reduce emissions and mitigate global warming. Currently Australia is the second largest LNP exporter in the world and expected to be the largest exporter by 2019. 

Northern Gas Pipeline Submission

Containment of gas development is vital if national and international greenhouse emissions are to be reduced quickly to address accelerating climate change. It is inappropriate to use subsidies for a pipeline which would enable gas production to be increased. Derogation is effectively a subsidy for the pipeline paid for by consumers. Onshore gas development has an increasing number of concerning medical impacts which will need costly health and environmental monitoring and will further detract from the economic viability of the project at a time when renewable energy development is cheaper and non harmful.

Mt Piper Power Station License Review Submission

Along with Mt Piper Power Station License Review, submissions were also submitted for the Eraring Power Station and the Vales Point Power Station in New South Wales.

Bylong Coal Project submission

Dr Kathleen Wild represented DEA at the recent Independent Planning Commission meeting in Mudgee regarding the Bylong Coalmine proposal. It was the last opportunity for the community to try and stop the “green fields”  proposal. There were over 60 presentations flanked by a heavy police presence. Kathleen did an excellent job outlining the importance of keeping coal in the ground to reduce carbon emissions.

AGM 2018 Proceedings

Proceedings of the 2018 AGM.

Draft State Public Health Plan (SA) 2019-2024

DEA in South Australia has contributed to the South Australian Public Health Plan 2019-2024, building on our previous Submissions on the 2013 Plan and during Consultation on the new Plan.  DEA affirms much of what is included in the draft State Public Health Plan but have advocated for climate change being an urgent and cross-cutting issue rather than one among a number of other priorities. We have also indicated that the links between human health and the environment must be strengthened, and that the development of a sustainable and climate-resilient health system provides a key opportunity for progress.  DEA has indicated that resources for implementation governance are essential and that we are willing to continue to work with SA Health on this important State Public Health Plan.

Photo of a Regent Honeyeater, Hunter Valley, by Doug Beckers

Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications - Australia’s faunal extinction crisis

Doctors for the Environment Australia is pleased to comment on this Enquiry for the extinction crisis reflects the rapid decline in biodiversity and ecological services, nationally and internationally, with grave implications for many aspects of human health and survival.

There are currently nearly 500 threatened faunal species and our current environment laws, especially the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC), are woefully inadequate.

A lack of biodiversity in faunal species impacts human health by threatening our food and water sources, current and potential medicines and crucial cultural and psychological wellsprings.

Download DEA's submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications - Australia’s faunal extinction crisis.

Narrabri Coal Seam Gas and Public Health Conference

On 15-16th August 2018 DEA members from NSW (Dr John Van Der Kallen and Dr Helen Redmond) and Qld (Dr Geralyn McCarron and Professor Melissa Haswell) travelled to the north-west inland town of Narrabri to attend and speak at a Coal Seam Gas and Public Health Conference organised and chaired by North West Protection Advocacy. Narrabri Shire is the site of the Narrabri Gas Project of Santos, an 850 well coal seam gas field in the final stages of approval. Helen, Geralyn and Melissa all spoke at the conference, together with Shay Dougall and Dr Methuen Morgan. The audience included local townsfolk, farmers from surrounding regions and members of the Kamilaroi people. 

Photo by Michael Amadeus

Submission to the Review of the National Pollution Inventory (NPI)

In Australia, it is estimated that urban air pollution contributes to approximately 3,000 deaths annually – more than double the deaths of the national road toll. As part of its advocacy for cleaner air,  DEA has made a number of recommendations in a submission to a review of the National Pollution Inventory (NPI). Read more -->

Senate Select Committee on Electric Vehicles submission

"Electricity is the thing. There are no whirring and grinding gears with their numerous levers to confuse. There is not that almost terrifying uncertain throb and whirr of the powerful combustion engine. There is no water-circulating system to get out of order-no dangerous and evil smelling gasoline and no noise.”  Edison to Ford c1895 

Download the Senate Select Committee on Electric Vehicles submission

Rix's Creek North Mod 8 Submission

The fundamental rationale of the EIS process is to assess the balance of positive and negative impacts upon which informed decisions can be made. The impacts may be environmental, health, social and economic. Whilst DEA addresses public health issues pertaining particularly to environmental causes of ill health, it is clear that good health exists within the wider context of sustainability and preservation of ecological support systems. On this basis we make this submission. 

Environmental Sustainability & Healthcare: What do Health Professionals Need to Know?

Every doctor needs to view this superb presentation by Katherine Barraclough at ANZ Association for Health Professional Educators. It details why environmental sustainability is core business for health professionals and an essential part of health education.

Proposed changes to timber harvesting in NSW’s coastal forests

Former Premier of NSW Bob Carr is dismayed by Berejiklian's environmental vandalismIn this submission DEA details just one aspect of this destruction - forest clearance. See below for the DEA submission to the NSW government on this issue and note the previous two recent articles from John van der Kallen on this topic. 

Download DEA's submission regarding the proposed changes to timber harvesting in NSW’s coastal forests

Read more:

Energy Security Board - Draft Detailed Design of the National Energy Guarantee Consultation Paper submission

DEA’s submission to the detailed design consultation paper emphasises that, once again, the Energy Security Board (ESB) has completely failed to consider any of the health problems and health costs associated with pollution, climate change and rising electricity prices.  The ESB and the federal government totally ignore the other 2/3 of emissions production from transport, industry and manufacturing and agriculture.  They have no policies in these areas.  This means that Australia will fail to meet its Paris Agreement Targets.  Australia will fail its global commitment to emissions reduction.  These failures guarantee deaths and illness for the people of Australia.

Download the ESB - Draft Detailed Design of the National Energy Guarantee Consultation Paper submission

NEG - Draft Detailed Design for Consultation - Commonwealth Elements submission

The Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is being presented as a bipartisan solution to electrical energy supply. However, DEA agrees with energy experts that this proposal only entrenches the dominance of coal-fired power in the eastern states and locks-out the emergence of more renewable energy. With the NEG, ambitious emissions reduction would be overlooked in the interests of false claims that a dominance of coal-fired power is the only way to ensure energy security and reliability.

Download the National Energy Guarantee - Draft Detailed Design for Consultation - Commonwealth Elements submission

Adani Infrastructure’s North Galilee Water Scheme (NGWS) Project submission

Despite ongoing public pressure, missed deadlines and lack of secure funding, Adani is pushing ahead with their plans to build Australia's largest coal mine in the Galilee Basin. Their latest bid is to extract yet more water - from the Suttor River via the North Galilee Water Scheme - without a full environmental assessment. This water would potentially be used for other coal mines in the area, and the Suttor River feeds into the major river system going to the Great Barrier Reef. DEA put in a submission to Adani's North Galilee Water Scheme Project to have this project fully scrutinised both for its health and environmental impacts.

Submission to the Clean Air for all Victorians: Victoria’s Air Quality Statement

The Victorian Government continues to involve the community in developing strategies to improve air quality in Victoria.
DEA points out that Victoria needs to take stronger measures to reduce pollutants particularly from the coal-fired power stations in the Latrobe Valley. 
Download DEA's submission to the Clean Air for all Victorians: Victoria’s Air Quality Statement 

Response to Central Queensland Coal Project (Styx) Supplementary EIS

DEA made a submission in 2017 opposing this new coal mine. Our criticisms were opposed in a supplementary EIS.
We have responded to this repeating that this is a dangerous mine to travellers on the Bruce Highway, because of blast plumes from explosions. The mine workings drain into an estuary and therefore is harmful to the Reef. The groundwater of this agricultural area is also under threat. The Queensland government continues to present huge problems for the climate and the Reef.

Summary framework for consultation: SA DRAFT State Public Health Plan 2019-2024

South Australia's second state public health plan is currently under development. The DEA(SA) committee recently prepared a submission commenting on the draft summary framework for the new plan, highlighting opportunities for increased consideration of environmental health issues and the need for a 'climate and health in all policies' approach. DEA(SA) has offered to provide ongoing input during the development of the new plan, with a draft expected in August 2018.
Download DEA's submission to the summary framework for consultation: SA DRAFT State Public Health Plan 2019-2024.

Exploring ways to improve farmers' interaction with the EPBC Act 1999 

DEA has made a submission to this review. The government notice says “Independent Reviewer, Dr Wendy Craik, is undertaking a short-term targeted review to reduce red-tape and find practical ways to help farmers meet the requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). The review will help unpack the issues faced by farmers to find real solutions while maintaining the high environmental standards Australia is renowned for." The use of the words “red tape” is likely to indicate the real intent but DEA has risen above these political aims.

Download DEA's Submission on Exploring ways to improve farmers' interaction with the EPBC Act 1999

Gregadoo Solar Farm Project (NSW) Submission

DEA strongly supports the Gregadoo Solar farm project. The reduction of Carbon intensive energy generation is an essential component of limiting our greenhouse gas emissions, which are contributing to global warming with devastating effect on the health of the planet and its inhabitants. Pollution from Carbon energy also contributes significantly to ill health. 

Narrabi Gas Project - Response to Santos Submission

In May 2017, DEA provided a submission commenting on the Santos Narrabri EIS. Concerns relating to this proposed development included the use of chemicals, impacts on water quantity, impacts to the quality of ground and surface water, impacts to soil and implications for crops and livestock as food sources, air pollution, climate risks, road safety and adequacy of monitoring and safeguards. On major issues, we assert that the responses by the company are still inadequate.  

Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria

DEA is concerned by the outlook for human and planetary health of inadequate control of global warming and climate change. In a submission to the Victorian government on emissions reduction targets, DEA supports the leadership and actions undertaken by Victoria in the absence of genuine action by the Federal Government to meet Australia’s commitments to the Paris Agreement 2015.
Download DEA's submission to the Independent Expert Panel on the Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria (2021 – 2030).

iDEA18 “Health in a changing climate” A review of the conference

For those who could not make it to Newcastle, you missed a momentous event. A diverse range of speakers highlighted the health effects of climate change, but it went well beyond that:

Hon Mark Butler

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Planetary Health - Safeguarding Human Health in the Anthropocene Epoch, Prof Tony Capon

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Panel Discussion - Hon Mark Butler, Dr Bob Brown, Prof Tony Capon

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Australia's Health Sector - Improving the Environmental Sustainability, Dr Eugenie Kayak

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Ethics - the 3rd Dimension, Prof Ben Marais

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

No Time for Games, Dr Ingo Weber

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Groundswell Gloucester - Advocacy in Action, Julie Lyford

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

NVDA, Adani and Our Movement. Assoc Prof Linda Selvey

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

350 Glen Klatovsky

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Repower Port Augusta - A Fairytale Ending, Dr Ingo Weber

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Climate Justice & Indigenous Health, Prof John Boulton

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Climate Justice & Indigenous Health, Dr Anne Poelina

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Sustainability of Land, Language and Lore, Dr Rosalie Schultz

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

When Country is Sick, People are Sick, Karrina Nolan

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Mindfulness Mountain Meditation, Dr Dimity Williams

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Climate and Your Energy, Greg Bourne, Climate Council of Australia

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Health Externality Costs of Coal Fired Electricity, Dr Ben Ewald

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Farmers for Climate Action, Dennis Ward

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

The Epidemiology of Gaia's Disease, Prof Garry Egger

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

GP Workshop Welcome - Primary Care and the Planet, Dr Nicole Sleeman

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Climate Change and Health - What Every Doctor Needs to Know, Dr Eleanor Evans

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Diabetes and Climate Change - The Great Health Threats of Our Time, Dr Rosalie Schultz

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Diet, Health and the Planet - A Role for the Medical Profession, Dr Michael Schien

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Would You Like to Become Pregnant Next Year, Dr Rosalie Schultz

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

General Practice as a Base for Environmental Advocacy, Dr Kim Loo

Watch this video from our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Dr Bob Brown - Keynote Address

Watch Dr Bob Brown deliver the keynote address at our recent conference - iDEA18 in Newcastle.

Health, sustainable diet and agriculture - DEA Position Statement

Unhealthy environments, climate change, and poor diet are major contributors to both chronic and acute illnesses. Changes to the way we produce our food, and the type of food we eat, are urgently required for both human and planetary health.
Health, sustainable diet and agriculture Position Statement

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are important

The United Nations sets these goals not just for developing countries but for all countries including Australia. Although Australia has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, our SDG targets, particularly on health and the environment, have slipped 6 places in the last reporting year to 26th place globally. Furthermore, our overseas development aid to help others attain their goals is inadequate. DEA has made a submission to Parliament on SDGs. 

Download DEA's 
submission to the Senate on the Inquiry into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in Western Australia 2017 Submission

A recent statement by the McGowan Labor Government who plan to make WA into a "global LNG hub" is deeply concerning for the control of green house emissions. Furthermore it begs the question whether the recent WA enquiry into the risks from fracking might be used to promote the production of additional (unconventional) gas in the state.

Download the DEA Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in Western Australia 2017 Submission and media release.

Australia’s Strategy for Nature 2018-2030: Australia’s biodiversity conservation strategy and action inventory submission

The Federal Government has produced a biodiversity conservation strategy paper which is deeply flawed in its assessments and fails to understand the urgency for action. In response, DEA has written a submission which demands action. The government has no recognition of climate change as a causative factor in biodiversity loss or of the health effects this will have.

Download DEA's submission on 
Australia’s Strategy for Nature 2018-2030: Australia’s biodiversity conservation strategy and action inventory.

Submission to the Energy Security Board National Energy Guarantee - Consultation Paper

The consultation paper is fundamentally flawed in failing to include health considerations from air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions which have considerable costs to human health and the nation.
Read more:

Fortunately there will be no more emissions from this car! Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster (Image by SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons)

Better fuel for cleaner air draft regulation impact statement

Australia’s fuel standards for vehicles are the lowest of the countries comprising the OECD and amongst the lowest in the G20. They cause ill health and deaths from air pollution and also contribute  a large and growing proportion of our greenhouse emissions. There has to be reform. 
Read DEA's recommendations to the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions on the Better fuel for cleaner air draft regulation impact statement.

DEA Policy: Action on Climate Change and Health; Governance and Strategy

To address the health impacts of climate change - the greatest global health threat of the 21st century - national leadership and reform of governance are urgently needed.

SA Health on the Review of the State Public Health Plan - South Australia: A Better Place to Live

In this submission DEA analyses the current SA public health plan in the light of our submission; South Australia: A Better Place to Live 2013.
We conclude it is necessary to show more urgency in climate change mitigation, to bring climate change into all policies and to work for national coordination through the development of a National Environmental Protection Agency.

The impact of unconventional gas on the human right to health

Dr Geralyn McCarron, a Brisbane GP, has spent more than five years living in the gas fields of Australia.

This experience has led Dr McCarron to provide testimony both nationally and internationally regarding the health impacts of the gas industry and most recently authoring and publishing a peer reviewed paper.  

Victorian brown coal-fired power stations licence reviews submission

Doctors for the Environment Australia make the following submission with eight recommendations in relation to the licence reviews of Victoria’s power stations as brown coal-fired power stations are major polluters and greenhouse gas emitters. 

Download the Victorian brown coal-fired power stations licence reviews submission

Submission to the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory in Response to the Draft Final Report

Doctors for the Environment Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide further feedback following the release of the draft Final Report into Hydraulic Fracturing.

It is our recommendation that the moratorium on fracking in NT should be extended indefinitely. Whilst the Inquiry has identified regulatory options that may minimise some of the risks of fracking, DEA believes that for NT, such a response is premature, overly optimistic, and overlooks climate change which is the greatest threat to human and economic health that we face.

Download the Submission to the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory in Response to the Draft Final Report.

Bushfires and Health in a Changing Environment: Fact sheet

Bushfires have always been a part of the Australian ecology, but now that ecology is changing.

Submission to the Proposed Central Queensland (Styx) Coal Project

The impacts of a development must be seen in the context of national and international health. These important links are explained in “The health factor: Ignored by industry and overlooked by government”, Appendix 1: The need to protect public health.

Submission on the proposed amendment to prohibit open cut mining at Drayton South

DEA supports the prohibition of open cut mining in the mapped area of the Upper Hunter near Jerrys Plains. However DEA is of the view that the amendment does not go far enough, and that all coal mining on the site should be prohibited. This is because any form of coal mining on this site would have damaging effects on local population health, the environment and existing industry. Furthermore, coal mining on this site would have negative global effects, from the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and the subsequent effects of climate change, including threats to health. Therefore DEA advocates for the Mining SEPP amendment to be widened, to include a ban on all coal mining on the site. 

Download the Submission to the open cut mining prohibition for Drayton South 12-17

Submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel

Submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) on 
– Alinta Energy Reeves Plains Power Station, comprising the construction of a 300 MW capacity gas fired peaking power station
– AGL Energy Grand Trunkway, Torrens Island, comprising the construction of a two stage power station with a total capacity of 420 MW
In making this submission we consider both projects together as they share commonalities of concern to us.At this time, when global warming is shaping an energy transformation around the world, South Australia is recognised as a leader in renewable energy. To turn to fossil fuel power generation in order to fill a shortfall in capacity is regressive and cannot be justified on health grounds (or economic grounds, given the price of gas).

Download the DEA Submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel SCAP 11-17

Supplementary submission on the Rocky Hill Mine to the NSW PAC

Since the initial DEA submission  there has been new evidence regarding the impact of open cut coal mines on health as well the rejection of a similar proposal, the New Acland Coal mine extension, by the Land Court in Queensland. 

DEA rejects this proposal on health grounds. The mine is simply too close to the township of Gloucester, risking the health of the local population and nearby populations from pollution along the coal corridor.

Download the 
Supplementary submission to Rocky Hill PAC 11-17

Supplementary Submission to the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory

DEA has already made a comprehensive submission and provided additional information in a further submission to the Inquiry, and these are now in the Submission library (numbers 96 and 477).

Transport Position Statement

Transport is an important part of a developed nation such as Australia, providing goods and services vital to health and the economy. The way in which transport is conducted in Australia is important to the health and well-being of all Australians. 

Townsville forum: Doctors and nurses speak out on the health effects of Adani’s coalmine

 Organised by members of Doctors for the Environment Australia, this public forum held at James Cook University in Townsville involved doctors, nurses and farmers speaking out on the impacts of the Adani Carmichael mine on health.

NSW EIA Improvement Project – 1: Overview of the EIA Improvement Project Submission

The rapid expansion of the coal and unconventional gas industries has not only created widespread community concern over health and environmental issues but it has exposed the inadequate processes whereby the New South Wales (NSW) government is acting as proponent in their perceived interest of economic development whereas they should be acting as arbiter.

Current and future impacts of climate change on housing, buildings and infrastructure submission

….It is also increasingly apparent that, even with a 2°C rise, the world will be greatly changed from present, with economic budgets greatly stressed by reparation of infrastructure and all the pillars of life, water, food, air quality and biodiversity-resilience under stress and facing likely deterioration…..

Governance and operation of Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Submission

It is also very important that the NAIF also takes into account our responsibilities to various international agreements such as the Paris Agreement. This would seem consistent with the paragraph in the White Paper – “The north will be an exemplar of sustainable development. The development of major population centres of more than a million people will underwrite substantial exports of planning, design, architecture and construction to the Tropics”.

The Health Toll of Coal Fact Sheet

Each step of the coal to energy generation lifecycle – mining, transportation, washing, combustion, and disposing of waste – impacts upon human health (Epstein, 2011).

Air Pollution Policy

Globally air pollution is an increasingly important public health problem. Nationally ambient (outdoor) air pollution contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality. Reductions in fossil fuel combustion to mitigate climate change have the potential to also benefit health by reducing concentrations of air pollutants which contribute to respiratory and cardiovascular disease and premature mortality.

Submission on the Narrabri Gas Project

DEA notes a number of deficiencies, unsupported assumptions, known and unknown risks in relation to the Santos Narrabri Gasfield project. We recommend rejection of this proposal on the basis that it cannot sufficiently guarantee the safety of human health and ecosystems supporting health.

Adani's Carmichael Coal Mine and Health: Fact Sheet

Coal is hazardous to health. It pollutes our land, water and air, and contributes to further climate change – the biggest threat to health this century.

Discussion Paper on the Review of Australia’s Climate Change Policy

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) is concerned about the health effects of climate change on humans and the biosphere on which humans depend. DEA is also cognisant of policies that can address both existing health problems and reduce the impact of climate change. It is in this holistic risk–co-benefit framework that DEA examines the climate change policies of Australian federal and state governments.

Submission to the Climate Change Authority on the Special Review of power system security, electricity prices and emissions reductions

DEA notes that the Climate Change Authority (CCA) will join with the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to review an Independent Review into the Future Security of the NEM. The report of this Independent Review is not yet available, so why there has to be further review of an unpublished Review is problematic and raises questions of probity.

Action on the land: reducing emissions, conserving natural capital and improving farm profitability

DEA commends The Climate Change Authority for taking a lead in exploring the ways in which Australia’s agricultural sector can move from being a major contributor to climate change and degradation of natural resources to being part of the solution, whilst maintaining or improving productivity.

Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory submission

Australia has seen rapid growth in interest and development of exploration and drilling for unconventional gas reserves from coal seams, shale deposits and tight sands. These reserves require special techniques such as fracking, in-seam and horizontal drilling. Doctors for the Environment Australia is concerned that the rush to exploit this resource has outpaced regulation to protect public health and the environment, and to adequately assess the health impacts, including exposures to industrial chemicals.

Inquiry into the rehabilitation of mining and resources projects as it relates to Commonwealth responsibilities submission

Mining incurs a range of environmental impacts that persist after the production phase of the mine has ended. There are changes in vegetation and landscape, exposure and potential ignition of fossil fuels, the pollution of air, soils and water, the introduction of aquatic sediments into water sources and land subsidence. Any of these can result in loss of productive land, loss or degradation of groundwater, pollution of surface water and air pollution from dust or toxic gases, with subsequent negative impacts on human health.

Preliminary Report of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market Submission

Energy reliability and security, and affordability which are all essential for the cohesion and health of our society can be achieved by the continued inclusion of renewable energy into the market; small- and large-scale wind and solar, supported by smart switching and controlling technologies; and by energy storage facilities such as batteries, pumped hydro and concentrated solar thermal.

Submission to the Better Fuel for Cleaner Air Discussion Paper

DEA welcomes the opportunity to respond to the discussion paper ‘Better Fuel for Cleaner Air’ and notes that the scope of the paper is limited to consideration of fuel quality standards while vehicle emission standards and fuel efficiency (greenhouse gas emissions per kilometre) are to be considered separately by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Coal & Health Poster

Australia has abundant reserves of coal, which is mined to power the majority of our electricity generation and exported overseas for coking and power generation. Due to the apparent low cost of this abundant resource Australians are enthusiastically exploiting it as rapidly as possible.

Election Health Alert: DEA Climate Change Posters

DEA is keen for the electorate to take climate change seriously. It is imperative that the voters consider climate change as a priority when voting. As a result we have created two posters that can be distributed widely.

Discussion paper: Federal Government planning to prevent and manage the health consequences of climate change

To address the health impacts of climate change – the greatest global health threat of the 21st century – national leadership and governance are needed.

DEA Adaptation Policy

Australia is poorly prepared for adequate adaptation to the health impacts of climate change and thus the community’s health and our health services are vulnerable.

Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce Submission

On reviewing the Interim report one is encouraged by the availability of natural energy resources in Tasmania. Unlike most other states Tasmania has three quarters of stationary energy available through hydro and it has unlimited wind, solar and other modalities which with storage would make the state self-sufficient in clean energy and attain zero emissions from its energy sector…….

Clean Air for NSW Consultation Paper Submission

We agree with the proposition that although NSW has relatively clean air by global standards, there is still a burden of disease attributable to air pollution and considerable health benefits available by improving air quality.

Review of the Load-based Licensing Scheme (NSW) submission

Coal-fired power stations (CFPS) are substantial sources of air pollutants.

Heatwave Fact Sheet

Temperatures are expected to continue to increase in the 21st century due to climate change. The CSIRO & BOM predict that by 2070, temperatures in Australia will rise by up to 5°C with longer, hotter, more frequent heatwaves expected.

Retirement of coal-fired power stations submission

An urgent need to address carbon emissions and a move towards renewable energy are creating structural changes in energy supplies that are having, and will have, profound impacts on workers and communities in the energy sector. With knowledge and planning, those impacts can be attenuated, but without such planning, community and social effects can be long lasting…….

Loy Yang B Works Approval Submission

Victoria’s coal fired power stations are responsible for almost 50% of the state’s climate pollution. It is impossible to make a difference to Victoria’s carbon pollution without addressing the operation of these power stations. Any energy derived from brown coal is ‘part of the problem’, as its GEI is above that achievable from other sources of electricity generation……….

Rocky Hill Coal Project Submission

To avoid a rise of greater than 2°C, 80% of known coal reserves must stay in the ground .

NT Fracking Inquiry 2016

We acknowledge the Northern Territory Government for its implementation of a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and the establishment of this inquiry and public consultation.

Paris Agreement submission to the Treaties Committee

DEA is concerned with the projected devastating effects of climate change on human health (and by extension, all forms of life in the biosphere). We note that the Paris Agreement does not deal with health adequately. The Treaty does acknowledge, rather inconspicuously…….

Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline Environmental Impact Statement NT Submission

The Terms of Reference of this Inquiry do not address the issues raised by DEA in our submission around the link between the pipeline project and the onshore gas development required to make the project viable.

VIC Government Coal Policy submission

As part of the Victorian Government’s plans to move away from coal-fired power stations, the government established an independent review of coal policy. This review, together with the review of the Climate Change Act, the Renewable Energy Roadmap, and the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, will feed into a new coal policy which will take into account environmental, social and economic factors. Since about one-third of all Victoria’s emissions are from coal, and since the Victorian government had already committed to net zero emissions by 2050, DEA believes ambitious reduction in coal use is required.

Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Economics

Doctors for the Environment Australia recommends that the present budget for ARENA be maintained as a preventative health measure.

Submission on Advancing Climate Action in Queensland: Making the transition to a low carbon future

Doctors for the Environment Australia has made many formal submissions from our medical and scientific experts and have had the opportunity to observe the processes and performance of successive Queensland governments. On this occasion we will make some general observations and comments in relation to the report “Advancing Climate Action in Queensland. Making the transition to a low carbon future”.

Earth Resources Regulation Victoria submission

Building on experiences between farmers and gas drilling operators in other states, in the absence of baseline studies, contamination and pollution by exploration and mining activities cannot be proved and so cannot be attributed to such activities.  For example the Condamine River in Queensland…….

Rye Park Wind Farm Project Submission

DEA strongly advocates, for the health of the community, the phasing out of coal fired power stations.

Submission on Protecting the Yarra River (Birrarung)

As medical doctors we welcome this opportunity to contribute to the community discussion about opportunities to improve the oversight and management of the Yarra River. We rely on natural ecosystems for clean air and water; healthy fertile soils in which to grow our food; a stable climate in which to thrive and a rich tapestry of living organisms- biodiversity- from which we have taken food and developed over half of the medicines in use today.

Unconventional gas and health – Fact Sheet

Unconventional gas is ‘natural gas’ that is trapped in rock from which it is difficult to extract, requiring specialised mining procedures and often access to large areas of land.

Unconventional Gas Development – DEA Position Statement

Unconventional gas development (UGD) is the extraction of natural gas which is difficult to access conventionally, from coal seams, shale or other rock formations, using techniques such as directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Hydraulic fracturing involves the pressurised injection of fluids, sand and chemical additives into rock to open up fractures, allowing gas to flow out.

Submission to Victoria State Government on Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2036

Our health is absolutely dependent on our natural environment. We rely on natural ecosystems for clean air and water, healthy, fertile soils in which to grow our food, a stable climate in which to thrive and a rich tapestry of living organisms- biodiversity- from which we have taken food and over half of the medicines in use today. Currently we are facing urgent threats to our wellbeing from climate change and biodiversity loss. As medical doctors we welcome this opportunity to provide input to the Victorian government’s review of biodiversity protection – a plan that is desperately needed to address the appalling rate of species extinction in our state.

Submission to the Ministerial Forum on the Vehicle Emissions Discussion Paper

Vehicle emissions are a major public health issue with approximately 3,000 deaths per annum in Australia resulting from air pollution; a figure greater than total road accident deaths. A significant proportion of these deaths and the chronic illness of thousands more is caused by vehicular pollution.

Submission on Petroleum (Environment) Regulations – Northern Territory

….oil and gas developments must be undertaken in a manner that will both protect the health of its citizens, preserve and enhance the Territory’s unique surroundings, our way of life and ensure the viability of other crucial sectors of our economy such as agriculture and tourism……

Climate Change and Health in Australia Fact Sheets

Doctors for the Environment Australia has developed this fact sheet to outline the effects of climate change on human health particularly in Australia, and how health can benefit from efforts to lessen and prevent climate change. The recent Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has once more highlighted the urgent need for action to limit global warming.

Submission to Tasmania’s draft climate change action plan 2016-2021

Tasmania and Australia more broadly, is already experiencing the human health impacts of longer, hotter and more frequent heatwaves , with recent heatwaves around Australia producing increased hospital admissions and deaths, and putting extra strain on healthcare and emergency services. Recent years have also seen increasingly frequent and severe bushfires in Tasmania. Bushfires pose numerous risks to health including direct injuries, burns and deaths from the fires themselves, as well as through cardiorespiratory effects of smoke on people living hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away….

Submission to the Select Committee on Unconventional Gas Mining

DEA is of the view that a national approach is essential to reduce the extensive risks associated with unconventional gas mining.

Submission on the Draft Report on Australia’s climate policy option (Climate Change Authority)

It is a great disappointment that numerous Climate Change Authority discussions and documents on the issue of climate change have failed to emphasise its impact on health. To avoid widespread, severe and irreversible impacts associated with present trajectory of 4 degrees of global warming, urgent action must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The response of Government thus far has been grossly inadequate – and that Australia needs to commit to a reduction target on 2020 levels of at least 40% by 2025 and a reduction of at least 95% by 2050. This is the only way that we might be able to confine global temperature rise to 2°C and thus avoid severe consequences to human health.  The time to act is now.

Submission on the SA Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016

The Global Burden of Disease report from WHO estimates that ambient air pollution is responsible for 3.7 million deaths worldwide (2012 estimate).

Submission on the Rix’s Creek Continuation Project

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) opposes the approval of the Rix’s Creek continuation on the grounds that the area, and in particular the inhabitants of Camberwell and Singleton already suffer high levels of particulate air pollution and the extension of mining will exacerbate the probability of respiratory harm in a region with many existing coal mines and poor air quality. New research on the health effects of air pollution has been published which indicates the annual standard adopted by the NSW EPA is inadequate.

What can I do for the Environment? By Dr Helen Redmond

In the first of a two-part video, Dr Helen Redmond, Rehabilitation Physician, introduces Doctors for the Environment Australia- who we are, what we do and why we do it.

Biala Wind Farm Project Submission

We support the approval of the Biala Wind Farm Project, for reasons set out in the DEA policy position on the health effects of wind farms. The EIS states that electricity production from the Biala wind project would displace electricity that would otherwise emit 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year….

Submission to the SA Government on Developing a New Climate Change Strategy for South Australia

Climate change is a priority issue for DEA. As the 1st Lancet Commission on Climate Change and Health stated in 2009, “climate change is the greatest threat to human health of the 21st century”. The consultation papers for “Developing a New Climate Change Strategy for SA” make very little reference to health. DEA believes health is central to any strategy around climate change as affirmed by the Lancet publications cited above. Our foremost recommendation is to prepare this consultative document urgently.

NT Link Project: Terms of reference submission

DEA asks governments to consider the public health impacts and health costs to present and future generations of their policies. This is particularly relevant to the Northern Territory (NT) as we make key decisions and create policy settings that will determine our energy supply and economic directions. We recommend that The Environmental Protection Authority conduct a full Health Impact Assessment in accord with existing agreements.

Victoria’s Renewable Energy Roadmap Submission

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate change from global warming is one of the greatest threats to public health and it will affect, in profoundly adverse ways, some of the most fundamental pre-requisites for good health: clean air and water, sufficient food, adequate shelter and freedom from disease……..

Review of the Climate Change Act (2010) – Victoria

Global warming is the driver of climate change, although we note that there is no mention of “global warming” in the Act of 2010. It is warming of the land, seas and atmosphere close to earth’s surface and subsequent changes to our climate that is predicted to cause increasingly profound harmful effects to human health and well being unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced substantially within the next decade……


The following DEA Divestment resources are available for use by community groups:

Renewable Energy

The following DEA resources are available for use by community groups:

Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire Inquiry Submission

DEA has an extensive history of advocating for the protection of health in relation to the coal industry nationally and in Victoria. Specifically relevant to the residents of Morwell and surrounding areas was DEA’s opposition at the VCAT in 2010 to the EPA approved development of a new coal fuelled power plant to be built by Dual Gas Pty Ltd. This power plant would have been situated 1 km from the Morwell township boundary, and DEA was greatly concerned for the health of local residents from an additional local air pollution source and the health implications globally from commissioning a new coal fuelled power plant when renewable alternatives are available…..

Fact Sheet the human health tolls of coal

– The burning of coal emits hazardous air pollutants, including particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, mercury and arsenic.


The following DEA Coal resources are available for use by community groups:

Inquiry into Unconventional Gas in Victoria – July 2015

In recent years, Australia has seen exponential growth in interest and development of exploration and drilling for unconventional gas reserves from coal seams, shale deposits and tight sands. These reserves require special techniques such as fracking, in-seam and horizontal drilling. DEA is concerned that the rush to exploit this resource has outpaced regulation to protect public health and to adequately assess the health impacts, including exposures to industrial chemicals.

Submission to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

This document addresses the future impacts of expansion of the nuclear fuel cycle industry on the South Australian environment and community (which are points (b) and (c) of the Terms of Reference). We present our health concerns essentially by quoting published sources relating to health from within the energy industry itself. We also provide an addendum listing some non-health-related issues that suggest nuclear energy is excessively costly and unsustainable.

Submissions on the Warkworth Continuation Project and the Mt Thorley Continuation Project

Of the many pending approvals of new mines in NSW, DEA made submissions on these interrelated mines for two reasons:

Report: No Time for Games: Children’s Health and Climate Change

DEA’s report No Time for Games: Children’s Health and Climate Change shines the national spotlight on the potential health harms that children especially face from global warming, and calls for swift and decisive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Submission to the Inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations

Our membership base, together with our Scientific Advisory Committee, includes many prominent and highly respected Australians who actively support our activities. DEA is completely independent from all political parties and corporations, allowing it to maintain integrity and its ability to educate on scientific sound principles at all times. Section 5.3 of the Australian Medical Council entitled ‘A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia, 2009’ states “Good medical practice involves using your expertise and influence to protect and advance the health and wellbeing of individuals, patients, communities and populations.” DEA follows this code by protecting human health through a wide range of educational and other activities aimed at preserving, restoring and preventing further degradation of natural environments.

Fin-Fish aquaculture industry in Tasmania submission

We recognise the importance of the fin-fish aquaculture industry to the state of Tasmania however if the industry is to continue to grow it must ensure that the health of Tasmania’s waterways and human health are not compromised.

Inquiry into the regulatory governance and economic impact of wind turbines

Stationary energy, as a sector, is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally and in Australia.

Submission on the National Clean Air Agreement Discussion Paper 2015

Contamination of the air we breathe is a special case of environmental exposure. Although the individual risk from air pollution is very low, exposure is ubiquitous and across the entire population so the low individual risk multiplies to a large public health problem. The scientific understanding of these risks has developed greatly in the last ten years. Exposures that were previously thought to be insignificant are now recognised as damaging to health and the range of disease outcomes attributed to air pollution is expanding.

Setting Australia’s post 2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions submission

It is important for the government to recognise that its statements on climate change are eagerly scrutinised by a world readership which is greatly concerned by the threats to humanity imposed by climate change. DEA wishes to point out the need for a radical reduction in emissions to address the serious consequences that will otherwise arise. These consequences are barely mentioned in the Issues Paper and of particular concern to us is the failure to deal with health consequences anywhere in the document.

Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration related to Commonwealth Government Affairs

The Environmental Impact Assessment process incorporates this Health Impact Assessment which includes all aspects of community health, including social and mental health aspects and social disruption. All these processes are intended to look at the balance of positive and negative impacts of the development upon which informed decisions can be made. DEA uses its expertise to determine whether these health obligations have been carried out. We have assessed whether the Queensland government has carried out these obligations in relation to resource developments.

Submission to the Climate Change Authority on future remission targets

Submission to the Climate Change Authority on the future remission targets Australia should commit to as part of an effective and equitable global effort to achieve the objective of the UNFCCC (Article 2) or subsequent agreement to which Australia is a party. Doctors for the Environment Australia recommends that Australia commit to a reduction target on 2020 levels of at least 40% by 2025 and 95% by 2050. These targets are based on the severe consequences for human health and well being if global warming is not confined to two degrees. Since the constraint of emissions will have many health co-benefits and therefore cost savings, there will be some reduction in the costs of mitigation and adaptation.

Children’s Environmental Health (currently under review)

Most Australian children today benefit from better food, cleaner water, more preventive health measures (such as vaccination) and a higher standard of living than ever before. Childhood mortality is very low and many would think that Australian children have never had it so good.

Divestment FAQ’s

The Divestment FAQs was developed by Doctors for the Environment Australia ahead of the first ever Global Divestment Day on 13 to 14 February 2015.

Renewable Energy Fact Sheet – a prescription for a healthier, cleaner and cheaper future

Renewable energy comes from natural sources which are constantly replenished.

Inquiry into Unconventional Gas (Fracking) – South Australia

Members of DEA are deeply concerned by the serious threats posed to health by fracture stimulation (fracking) for unconventional (whether coal seam, shale, or tight) gas in the South East of South Australia.

Review of Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) in Tasmania submission – December 2014

Doctors for the Environment Australia reminds governments and proponents that health impact assessment is an integral part of the EIA process.  In Australia, the states operate the EIA process under Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Guidelines September 2001…….

What are the health concerns with Unconventional Gas?

Unconventional gas (UG) refers to gas which is found in coal seams, shale or other rock formations and cannot be extracted using conventional methods.

Do We Need Carbon For Transport?

DEA Member Dr Bryan Furnass examines energy sources for transport across the ages, and considers a largely unexplored option: anhydrous ammonia or NH3.

Read more here: Do we need carbon for transport?

Submission on the proposed variation to the Ambient Air Quality NEPM 2014

DEA notes that the AAQ NEPM is not enforceable by the federal government, so even if it includes standards and goals that correctly reflect current scientific thinking on the health effects of air pollution it is not a strong mechanism for ensuring that the Australian population is protected from health impacts.

SA Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) Fact Sheet

A unique opportunity for South Australia: Good for Health, Energy Security and Manufacturing.

Submission on the High Conservation Values Assessment and Management Plan

As a body of medical professionals, DEA is an interested stakeholder due to our interest and expertise on the intersection of health, environmental threats and damage to natural ecosystems such as High Conservation Value (HCV) Forests.

iDEA 2014: Assoc Prof Linda Selvey on Climate Change and Global Health

Assoc Prof Linda Selvey speaks on Climate Change and Global Health at iDEA 2014, Doctors for the Environment Australia’s national conference.

iDEA 2014: Charlie Wood speaks about Fossil Fuel Divestment

Charlie Wood, Campaigns Director for Australia and leader of the Fossil Free program, speaks about fossil fuel divestment at the Doctors for the Environment Australia iDEA conference.

iDEA 2014: Dr Eugenie Kayak – Healthy Planet, Healthy People – About DEA

Dr Eugenie Kayak speaks about the work of Doctors for the Environment Australia  at iDEA 2014.

iDEA 2014: Dr Forbes McGain speaks on Hospital Sustainability and Measuring CO2

Dr Forbes McGain speaks on hospital sustainability – and measuring CO2 – at iDEA 2014, Doctors for the Environment Australia’s national conference.

iDEA 2014: Dr Kate Charlesworth on Sustainable Health Care

Dr Kate Charlesworth speaks at the Doctors for the Environment Australia iDEA conference on sustainable health care. Kate is a PhD candidate and Advanced Trainee of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine

iDEA 2014: Dr Sallie Forrest speaks on transitioning from medical student to doctor

Dr Sallie Forrest speaks about becoming an environment and public health minded doctor at iDEA 2014, Doctors for the Environment Australia’s national conference.

iDEA 2014: Mark Ogge speaks on Renewable Energy Solutions

Mark Ogge, public engagement officer for The Australia Institute, speaks about Renewable Energy solutions for climate protection at the Doctors for the Environment Australia’s 2014 iDEA conference.

iDEA 2014: Phil Harrington – an economic and environmental critique of climate policy

Phil Harrington speaks on climate policy at iDEA 2014, Doctors for the Environment Australia’s national conference.

iDEA 2014: Prof Rob Moodie – Health and Climate Change: Having You Voice Heard

Prof Rob Moodie speaks on health advocacy at iDEA 2014, Doctors for the Environment Australia’s national conference.

iDEA 2014: Professor David Griggs speaks on Climate Change & Sustainability Challenges

Professor David Griggs, Director, Monash Sustainability Institute speaks to Doctors for the Environment Australia’s iDEA conference on Saturday 22nd March, 2014.

iDEA 2014: Professor Fiona Stanley speaks on Climate Change and Child Health

Former Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley speaks about the impacts of climate change on children at iDEA 2014, Doctors for the Environment Australia’s national conference.

iDEA 2014: Professor Kingsley Faulkner and Kate Lardner – Welcome Address

The opening address of iDEA 2014, Doctors for the Environment Australia’s 2014 conference. Address by Professor Kingsley Faulkner, Chair of DEA, and Kate Lardner, iDEA 2014 convenor.

iDEA 2014: Professor Ross Garnaut on Climate Change Policy and Direct Action

Professor Ross Garnaut speaks at iDEA 2014 on whether Australia can do it’s fair share on climate change mitigation through Direct Action. iDEA is Doctors for the Environment Australia’s national, medical student-led conference.

iDEA 2014: Student State Reports

Doctors for the Environment Australia state student groups give their reports to iDEA 2014, DEA’s national conference.
Many thanks to the student reps: Mr Henry West, Tasmanian Student Representative, 3rd year student, University of Tasmania

iDEA2014: Dr Helen Redmond, Environmental Determinants of Health: Unconventional Gas Case Study

Dr Helen Redmond, Rehabilitation Physician and Conjoint Lecturer, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW speaks at the Doctors for the Environment Australia iDEA conference on health risks of unconventional gas.

Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry Northern Territory Submission – May 2014

DEA notes the limited terms of reference for this inquiry into hydraulic fracturing. This inquiry could be used as a basis for a more general inquiry into NT energy policy, including the range of options for our own energy supply, and for export to other countries. Hydraulic fracturing enables extraction of hydrocarbon deposits which are one source of energy and economic development. NT has vast reserves of renewable energy sources, in particular solar and wind, which can be used for energy and economic development. The limitation of this inquiry to details about hydraulic fracturing obstructs our capacity to consider all options both now and into the future.

DEA Hydraulic fracturing in NT inquiry submission 04-14

Divestment and public health flyer

The following flyer was developed by DEA, AMSA and connecting divestment and public health

Submissions to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Bill

Almost a quarter of the disease burden and deaths in the world can be attributed to environmental factors. We cannot begin to alleviate this burden of ill-health unless we address the environmental pathways and antecedent causes.

Advertisement: As doctors we’re already seeing the impacts of climate change on our health

We must act urgently to safeguard our well-being and our children’s future. The result of the election in Western Australia is critically important. DEA urges WA to vote for strong climate action on April 5th 2014.

Submission on the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 EIS

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) response to the Terms of Reference (TOR) is inadequate and requires revision.

Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Public Transport

It is important to be mindful of the fact that our health, physical and mental, is dependent on our environment. There are many and various pathways by which environmental change can and does impact human health in both the short and long term. This includes how we design our built environment, generate energy, organise health services and transport infrastructure; there is also a strong interrelationship between all of these systems.  In particular, urban transport infrastructure and consequently the modes of transport we use, have a range of both direct and indirect health impacts.

Submission to the Energy White Paper Issue Paper

Planning Australia’s future energy landscape well in advance provides important opportunities to address challenges facing us and maximize energy efficiency, and security, as well as health and environmental co-benefits. However, we find the Energy White Paper (EWP) significantly flawed due to omissions or failure to consider a number of important factors.

South Australia Unconventional Gas Fact Sheet

Why are there serious concerns over the development of unconventional gas (coal seam, shale, and tight gas) in South Australia?

Submission to the Great Barrier Reef Coastal Component Strategic Assessment

The Great Barrier Reef is of “natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and is of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity” (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO).

Submissions to the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project EIS and Supplementary EIS

The Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project is one of the largest proposed coal mines in Queensland, with a predicted yield of 60 million tonnes per annum from a mine site 160km northwest of Clermont plus a 189-kilometre railway line.

Submission on the draft DPEMP for the Indicoal Mining Pty Ltd, Langloh Coal Mine (Tasmania)

Although mining is not a new industry to Tasmania, this proposal, which is expected to produce over 8 million tonnes of coal to be burnt at a later stage, would mark Tasmania as yet another contributor to climate change through increasing utilization of fossil fuels. DEA has a number of concerns that this proposal, if allowed to proceed, would be to the detriment of human health in Tasmania and of global public health.

Submission on the Port Waratah Coal Services Terminal 4

Impacts of the current proposal do not stop at the perimeter fence. The loading of an extra 70 million tonnes per annum of coal is covered by this planning assessment process, but that 70 Mtpa has to be brought to port in 9,855 trains per year making 19,710 trips through each suburb along the coal corridor. This extra transport task has significant health and environmental effects.

NSW SEPP Amendment – Coal Seam Gas 2013

It is vital that new regulations such as this proposed amendment are sufficient to protect public health. However, although it is a step in the right direction, it does not adequately protect other areas at risk – our prime farming land, our water catchments, and unique natural environments like the Pilliga forest (with its state significant biodiversity). Under the changes, these natural resources remain vulnerable to the impacts of coal seam gas mining. Moreover, the amendment does not apply to existing CSG developments, with only areas exposed to new exploration and production development being assured of exclusion.

Inquiry into the Implications for Western Australia of Hydraulic Fracturing for Unconventional Gas – September 2013

It is important to firstly emphasise that hydraulic fracturing is just one process of a group of recent innovations and new technologies that have enabled the development of previously inaccessible petrochemical reserves. The other integral innovations and technologies include “slickwater”, high volumes of fluid, horizontally or directional drilling and multi-well pads and cluster drilling.

NSW SEPP (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) Submission

In the opinion of DEA, the proposed SEPP inappropriately promotes and facilitates the development of resource mining at the expense of the other valuable land uses, ecosystems, local communities, our health and the stability of our climate.


This F&A sheet discusses the synthetic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and its health implications as an endocrine disruptor. The sheet also discusses the current legal regulations surrounding the use of BPA in products such as drink and food containers.

Draft significant impact guidelines: Coal seam gas submission

DEA applauds the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities for producing guidelines to clarify the implementation of the ‘water trigger’ in association with those industries that have an enormous potential impact on Australia’s water supply and quality.

Leaflet: The Health Factor – ignored by industry, overlooked by government

This leaflet describes the full and comprehensive report about the failure to prevent pollution and protect human health, which is creating a costly legacy for Australia. DEA argues that proper health impact assessments are crucial and long overdue. For printed copies of the leaflet or report, please contact our office. You can see the media release here:  And the full report here: 

A Poem for iDEA13 by Associate Professor Grant Blashki

This is a poem from the iDEA13 Conference (April 2013) by A/Professor Grant Blashki, Nossal Institute for Global Health.

beyond the shore – Frank Nicklason

This is a presentation from the iDEA13 Conference (April 2013) by Frank Nicklason, Staff Specialist Physician, Royal Hobart Hospital.

Climate change science and solutions – Professor David Karoly

This is a presentation from the iDEA13 Conference (April 2013) by Professor David Karoly, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

Global Health: a broader perspective of environmental health – Professor Michael Kidd

This is a presentation from the iDEA13 Conference (April 2013) by Professor Michael Kidd AM, Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University.

Health Sustainability and the Role of the Medical Profession – Associate Professor Grant Blashki

This is a presentation from the iDEA13 Conference (April 2013) by Associate Professor Grant Blashki, Nossal Institute for Global Health

Submission on Warratah Coal’s China First Project (Northern Export Facility) SEIS

The submission by Doctors for the Environment Australia to the EIS in December 2011 noted that “This EIS fails to assess the human health impacts adequately”. The SEIS also fails.

Revised Climate Change and Health Policy & Position Statement

DEA is focussed on human-induced climate change, widely regarded as now the most serious, and growing, worldwide threat to human health and survival and to social stability.

A Healthy New World Order – Peter Tait

This is a presentation from the iDEA13 Conference (April 2013) by Peter Tait.

Climate Change Authority Caps and Targets Review submission

In this submission DEA outline the health imperatives to reduce Australia’s emissions as quickly as possible, and therefore put a strong case for increasing Australia’s 2020 emissions reduction target from 5% to 25%.

Climate Change & Health Policy

Human pressure on the natural environment is widening and escalating. Environmental threats to human wellbeing, health and survival has become evident over the past two to three decades.

Climate Change & Health Position Statement

Human pressure on the natural environment is widening and escalating. Environmental threats to human wellbeing, health and survival has become evident over the past two to three decades.

Submission to Adani – Abbot Point Coal Terminal 0 Environmental Impact Statement

Whilst Doctors for the Environment Australia addresses public health issues pertaining particularly to environmental causes of ill health, it is clear that good health exists within the wider context of sustainability and preservation of ecological support systems. On this basis we must make comment.

How coal burns Australia; The true cost of burning coal

Contrary to dominant views about the industry, coal-fired power is not the cheapest fuel and its value to the community is dubious. Yet this polluting industry continues to enjoy unjustifiable support.

FACT & ACTION SHEET – Cash for containers

In this F&A sheet, we will be discussing Cash for Containers, which is a recycling campaign aimed at implementing a Container Deposits System (CDS) across all states in Australia.


Learn about the process of coal seam gas (CSG) extraction, where it is being carried out in Australia and the concerns over its impacts on health and the environment.


The Tarkine is an extensive area of rainforest and natural biodiversity in Tasmania. Although it has been described as “one of the world’s great archaeological regions”, The Tarkine is currently under threat form mining and forestry contractors.

Productivity Commission – Major project development assessment processes

DEA is concerned that the Commission has not recognised the importance of protecting human health in its considerations. In our submission, we describe the need for improved regulatory outcomes and the risks associated with reforms that do not achieve this.

Submission to the Senate Committee on the impacts on health of air quality in Australia 2013

Doctors for the Environment Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the impacts on health of air quality in Australia, as this is an important public health issue to which inadequate attention has been paid to date.

South Australian Public Health Plan: South Australia: A Better Place to Live

In the Draft State Public Health Plan, the focus of the climate change priority must move from its current focus on adaptation to emphasize the urgency and priority of mitigation, with clear strategies outlined for various government and business groups.

Submission from DEA and Economists at Large on the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3

This paper looks at the draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement regarding the expansion of the existing New Acland open-cut coal mine, from 4.8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to up to 7.5 Mtpa.

Submission to Senate Inquiry for recent trends in and preparedness for extreme weather events

Doctors for the Environment Australia welcomes the opportunity to highlight to the Committee that the present level of national and international action on climate change, which is contributing to the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, is so inadequate that we are accelerating towards a 4°C rise in global average temperature by the end of this century (WB, 2012). If we continue on this trajectory then we have to consider how we are to live with this rapidly changing world and the damage to vital infrastructure, and in particular the subsequent health implications.

Submission on the China Stone Coal Project

The China Stone Coal Project produces 60 million tonnes of coal per annum and will be one of the biggest mines in the world.  All such mines have significant health impacts.

Solar thermal power generation at Port Augusta – SA Parliamentary Inquiry

Port Augusta has experienced pollution from its power stations for many years.

Submission to the West Australian Draft Forest Management Plan 2014-2023

The draft management plan should be acknowledged for recognising and including some of the important factors that will determine the health and sustainability of our SW forest ecosystems over coming decades.

UCG: Underground coal gasification

Underground coal gasification (UCG) is the process by which coal is converted to gas underground via enforced combustion.

Climate Change (natural & ‘unnatural’) … Past and Future Risks to Health

A medical school lecture delivered in September 2012 by Professor Tony McMichael, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Our Uncashed Dividend: The Health Benefits of Climate Action

This recent report, co-authored by the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) and the Climate Insitute, draws together the many ways in which we can improve health (whilst saving money) by acting to limit climate instability.  DEA is part of CAHA, which is an alliance of health organisations.  As such, all DEA members can feel pleased they have contributed to the publication of documents such as this.

Review of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme

DEA is concerned about the slow progress NICNAS has made in assessing existing and unassessed chemicals on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS).  One of the main functions of the regulatory system is to protect human health and well-being…..

South Australian wind farm developments inquiry and health

Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that increasing green house emissions are responsible for the climate change which is having health impacts throughout the world.

From Anthropocene to ‘Sustainocene’ – Bryan Furnass

This presentation was delivered to the ANU Emeritus Faculty on 21 March 2012.   Please click on the links to both the powerpoint file and the accompanying text (as pdf).

The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change

This article is based upon an important new report on The Psychological effects of global warming in the United States. The report will be put in the context of previous work in Australia including that by Doctors for the Environment Australia.

Forests and Health Position Statement

Over 50 per cent of the earth’s forests have been cleared, mainly for grazing land expansion, agriculture and road construction.

Energy White Paper: The true cost of backwards thinking

By George Crisp and David Shearman on 20 March 2012 in Renew Economy.  We thank Renew Economy.
The Draft Energy White Paper (EWP) displays a grave misunderstanding of energy issues in the 21st century……

Draft Energy White Paper Submission

Though the EWP sets out to address the legitimate aims of reducing emissions through “clean” energy, ensuring energy security and facilitating economic development, it repeatedly makes a series of assertions and assumptions that are contradictory.

Submission on the Draft Australian Dietary Guidelines

DEA is concerned about the environment and effects of human activity on environmental and ecological function. Our concern is grounded in the necessity of a well functioning environment for human health and wellbeing.

Observations concerning the Air Quality section of Environmental Impact Statement for Acland Stage 3 (Chapter 9)

Observations concerning the Air Quality section of Environmental Impact Statement for Acland Stage 3 (Chapter 9) by medical experts from Doctors for the Environment Australia.

Submission on the Regulated Trees Amendment

In SA an amendment on Regulated Trees to help development has lead to a spate of removals of mature trees by residents in Adelaide and suburbs who worry about leaves in their gutters.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation Expert Review

We note “The CEFC will act as a catalyst to private investment which is currently not available and thereby contribute to reducing carbon emissions and cleaner energy”.

DEA’s Opening Statement to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas, 17 November 2011

DEA considers the current level of assessment, monitoring and regulation of CSG exploration and mining activities in NSW to be inadequate to protect the health of current and future generations of Australians.

DEA at Gas Forum in Sydney – Dr Helen Redmond

DEA was represented at this Coal Seam Gas Community forum by Dr Helen Redmond who speaks around 0:42s.  The meeting addressed concerns over gas extraction in the Sydney Basin.

Submission to the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee Inquiry into management of the Murray Darling Basin – impact of mining coal seam gas

Coal seam gas mining (CSG) may have adverse impacts on human health by contamination of drinking and agricultural-use water, and air. Contaminants of concern include many of the chemicals used for fracking, as well as toxic substances produced through this process and mobilised from the sedimentary regions drilled. Some of these compounds can produce short-term health effects and some may contribute to systemic illness and/or cancer many years later.

Dr Helen Redmond on Health and Coal Seam Gas Extraction

Dr Helen Redmond – Doctors for the Environment – who talks about the impacts of coal-seam gas water contaminants and the impacts on human health. 

Dr Helen Redmond – Doctors for the Environment from LockTheGate on Vimeo.

Code Green Video

Most people now know that climate change is a serious issue, and have some understanding of the effects that it will wreak. Few, however, are aware of the extraordinary impacts that climate change will have specifically on health.
Watch on YouTube.

Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms

Fossil fuels are responsible for a significant disease burden in our community contributing to climate change. Wind power and other renewable energies have the potential to reduce threats to health through reduction in air pollution and mitigation of climate change.

DEA Population & Health Poster

This is the Doctors for the Environment (DEA) population and health poster.  It has been prepared for display in doctor’s waiting rooms right across the country.

Sustainable Hospitals – Response to Victorian Climate Change Green Paper

Doctors for the Environment Australia has a “green hospitals group” and is taking an increasing interest in promoting action to reduce the carbon footprint of hospitals.

Slideshow – The Science & Health Impacts of Climate Change

As many of our medical colleagues are unaware of the health impacts of climate change DEA has developed a set of slides which you can use to present to your peers. This PowerPoint presentation covers basic climate science and the health impacts of climate change and uses a medical analogy to put the case for urgent action. (The download link is on the right of screen).

A/Prof Mardie Townsend – iDEA 2009

Associate Professor Townsend is involved, in collaboration with Parks Victoria and other partner organisations, in investigating the benefits of contact with nature for human health and wellbeing. Current and recent research includes: an investigation of health and wellbeing outcomes of differing levels of access to nature for residents of high-rise housing; a study of mental health benefits of hands-on nature based activities in primary schools; a nature based intervention program for people suffering depression, anxiety and/or social isolation; an assessment of health benefits of a visiting companion animal program in an acute care hospital; several projects exploring the health and wellbeing outcomes of ‘bush adventure therapy’ programs in Australia; several projects exploring the benefits of environmental volunteering; and a project assessing the valuing and use of parks in high and low SES areas.

Dr Colin Butler at iDEA 2009

Dr Colin Butler – ANU. Talk given at the student conference for Doctors for the Environment, Australia. 5th December 2009.

What Can I Do Factsheet

This handout was developed in South Australia for both non-DEA and DEA members. It is adapted from a number of other resources and considers the changes that individuals can make to their lifestyles to reduce their carbon footprint and lead by example.

What can I do?

This handout was developed in South Australia for both non-DEA and DEA members. It is adapted from a number of other resources and considers the changes that individuals can make to their lifestyles to reduce their carbon footprint and lead by example.

Economic Health Growth

The words ‘economic growth’ appear in most news bulletins and political articles in the press. This poster raises the issue that growth in many ways is a health hazard for it is incompatible with a sustainable future for humanity.

Energy Policy

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) has a deep interest in energy policy because it is the major determinant of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which via climate change present a significant threat to human health.

Inquiry into the effectiveness of House Committees submission

This submission analyses the increasing complexity of information that has to be absorbed and assessed by elected representatives in order to make appropriate decisions. House Committees are sometimes a forum for providing important factual updates to Members and Senators and the expansion of this role will be explored…

When We Die-a case for easier deaths and natural burials

Not many lectures are a work of art. This one is, in more ways than one. Bryan Furnass, DEA Member, welds ecological and medical knowledge, using Western art and literature, to create a masterpiece. When you read it you will both learn and enjoy the experience. Don’t miss it!

Transport and Health Poster

Doctors regularly see the adverse effects of private motor vehicles via patients injured in road traffic accidents. Despite the number of fatalities halving over the last 30 years due to random breath testing and improved road and vehicle design, Australia still recorded 1611 road crash deaths in 2007. (1) It has been predicted that by 2020 traffic accidents will be the third largest cause of global disability adjusted life years lost. (2)

Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics on the Renewable Energy Legislation Amendment (Renewable Power Percentage) Bill 2008.

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) has major concerns about the expected effects of climate change on human health and well being. We have recently released nationally and internationally a report on this topic. It is therefore appropriate that we submit to this Senate Committee to emphasise that a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is urgent and the only way that this can be quickly accomplished is by encouraging energy saving and expanding renewable energy provision. The situation is urgent because recent scientific reports are showing that the harmful effects of climate change are arising much faster than anticipated from IPCC data. There is increasing danger that climate change may become irreversible.

Submission to the Garnaut Review

The World Health Day, celebrated on April 7 each year, creates awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organisation. For 2008  the World Health Organisation has selected the topic “protecting health from climate change” This submission to the Garnaut Committee will indicate why this topic is so important and will document from the medical and scientific literature the implications for health in Australia.

National Trading Taskforce Secretariat Submission

If these threats to health and other problems associated with climate change are to be avoided, Australia needs to take strong decisive action. The science is sufficiently clear to warrant a reduction in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions of at least 60 per cent by 2050. DEA strongly supports the development of an emissions trading scheme and believes that it will play an important and prominent role in moving Australia’s emissions profile towards this target. A national scheme would ideally be initiated by and coordinated by the Commonwealth Government. However as such action is not forthcoming, the joint initiative by the States and Territories Governments is to be commended.

Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review

Our viewpoint on the complex issue of an energy policy for Australia is based upon principles of social and environmental sustainability, which if neglected, are likely to harm the health and wellbeing of all Australians. We also recognise our interdependence with the rest of the world and, as a wealthy and developed county, the need for Australia to play a leadership role in addressing global problems.

US Free Trade Agreement Submission

The USA and Australia recognise the interdependence of nations in counteracting threats to all (eg “terror”) and call for concerted action. By contrast, USFTA fails to recognise that Australia is part of a world which for its future survival, must recognise the interdependence of all peoples and its ecological systems. DEA has a major philosophical problem with the proposal; it smacks of self- interest. It promotes possible, though unproven, short-term economic gains for the participants without consideration of the long-term consequences for future generations. It is an agreement with the intent of benefiting two wealthy countries. There is no recognition that USFTA and other trade agreements might have long-term consequences for all nations by accelerating environmental damage, so creating a future debt for all….

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