Saturday, November 30, 2019

We need a Royal Commission into Lack of State Pollution Control

Bayswater Power Station, Hunter Valley

Bayswater and Liddel Power Stations, Hunter Valley

Coal mines and coal fired power stations, Hunter Valley
We are dying in the Upper Hunter from the toxic air we breathe and the process is being comprehensively monitored by the New South Wales Government.
Yet what is the government actually doing about it apart from collecting data and sending out endless air quality alerts informing us that PM10 and PM2.5 levels for Aberdeen, Merriwa, Muswellbrook and Singleton have exceeded national air quality standards?
From what I have observed, absolutely nothing, apart from additionally giving us advice about ‘staying indoors’.
And all our local member (aka Michael Johnsen MP) has to say on the topic (and he was an apology for Tuesday night’s air quality meeting hosted by Friends of the Upper Hunter in Muswellbrook with the EPA in attendance) is that there are many “unsubstantiated claims out there” and that the government “wants everyone to be healthy” and that “this is not a political issue, it’s a weather issue.”
Despite his uninformed opinion, everyone who actually did turn up to last Tuesday night’s meeting, and that included Dr Richard Abbott from Doctors for the Environment Australia, Kirsty O’Connell from Friends of the Upper Hunter, Adam Gillegan from the EPA and approximately 50 worried community members from across the Upper Hunter, all fully accepted that air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. 

Moreover, they all fully accepted that there is no safe level of pollution and that if we stopped emissions from coal fired power stations and coal mines, our health would immediately improve with fewer deaths, fewer incidences of cardiovascular disease, fewer low birth weight babies, fewer premature babies and fewer new cases of diabetes.
They also all fully appreciated that even though the law says that prescribed standards of air impurities are not to be exceeded, the standards are routinely exceeded, and no polluter is ever satisfactorily prosecuted.
Hence why I now think that there is nothing else for it but to hold a ‘Royal Commission into Lack of State Pollution Control.’
We cannot keep on dying with the NSW Government watching on doing nothing.
We need protection – enough is enough.


  1. And why on earth are they still mining coal when you have so much sun for solar power?

    I'm translating an article on COP 25 - we know what has to be done, but the people in power are more interested in money than the Earth and her sentient beings. But we know that. It is unfortunate that the COP was moved to the global North; since the Chilean government was striving to hide its repression. That new right, especially Bolsonaro, is as scary as Trump.

    Également d'accord avec Éric Andrieu sur les chlorpyrifos...

    On a lighter note, think I'll make your crunchy salad, but with tempeh, not tofu. I discovered that Indonesian and Malaysian staple in the Netherlands.

  2. Hi Sue, Congratulations on your cycling win, but I'm writing because I'm so disturbed by the huge fires (killing wildlife and bees) and by your clueless Hawaii holiday PM,

    Marie, in Montréal

  3. And I'm so sick at heart about the koalas and all the other dear creatures. Lots of Northern creatures at risk as well.

  4. While of course I agree wholeheartedly with your latest post, I'm surprised to find nothing about your latest acute climate crisis - the smoke trails have spread as far east as Chile and Argentina!

    Mourning the loss of at least one billion non-human animals - and several of the human variety - it is unthinkable.

    At Christmas, there was no snow and green lawns in Montréal or in Moscow.

    1. It has been overwhelmingly terrible, and the extent of the devastation just drags me down, and now we have covid19 and the environment seems to have been parked to one side, although we know that is not the case. Everything seems so very hopeless ... sigh