Activists call for study on health impacts of CSG mining

Michael McNamara out front of the Murwillumbah hospital.
Michael McNamara out front of the Murwillumbah hospital. John Gass

TWEED'S coal seam gas activists have gained more clout in their fight against exploration with the South West Sydney Area Health Service calling for a study on the health impacts of CSG operations.

"The call for a full community health impact study before operations commence is a welcome voice of sanity and reason from within a government that is generally out of touch with community views and concerns about the CSG industry," Lock the Gate-Tweed's Michael McNamara said.

"Public Health authorities in the Tweed should adopt a similar position."

Mr McNamara said residents of the Tweed are already under threat from the exploration licence held by Arrow Energy and the application for a Special Prospecting Authority by the NSW State Aboriginal Land Council.

"Reports from the Tara area in central Queensland of severe health impacts are of great concern," he said.

"Doctors in the Tara area are so concerned about seeing a pattern of 'symptoms consistent with gas exposure' that they reported their concerns to the Queensland branch of the AMA.

"Residents near Tara report children with nose bleeds, bleeding from the ear and severe skin rashes since CSG operations commenced.

"We do not want these problems in the Tweed.

"The bleatings of the CSG industry in relation to health impacts is reminiscent of the efforts of tobacco companies in the 50's and 60's.

"What is needed is comprehensive and independent baseline testing of health as well as water and air quality and environmental health.

"We can only really know the impacts if we have a clear picture of the state of health of our people, our water, our land and our air before CSG operations commence."

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