Findings of Greens-dominated air quality Senate committee predictably anti-mining

August 16, 2013

The Greens’-dominated Senate inquiry into air quality issues intended to deliver an anti-mining outcome well before the Inquiry began.
 
“This was always an attempt by the Greens to grab headlines in the lead up to the federal election,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee, said today. 
 
“The recommendation to implement covers on all coal wagons on the Hunter coal rail network ignores the evidence that shows coal dust from trains to be a relatively small source of particulates,” Mr Galilee said. 
 
“There is no evidence in the report that demonstrates how the Committee has logically come to its recommendation.  It’s clear that the Greens had no real interest in understanding or investigating the facts around air quality in the Hunter but simply saw this as an opportunity to push their anti-mining agenda,” he said.
 
Long term monitoring by ANSTO at Mayfield, near Newcastle, shows that coal, soil and other industries account for less than 14% of all of the smaller PM2.5 particles in the air while automobiles (27%), smoke (20%) and sea salt spray (16%) contribute significantly more to air pollution.
 
Australia has amongst the strictest air quality standards in the world and monitoring around Newcastle, including 400m from the main rail line, has shown that air quality standards have been met in 9 of the last 10 years, with the exceedence in 2009 being when dust storms affected air quality across the state.
 
 “NSW Miners understand the need to work with the community and governments at all levels to minimise the impact of mining and improve air quality.  We support evidence based research and measures to improve air quality,” Mr Galilee said.

“We've funded the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network, we're working with the EPA to reduce dust from our operations, and we've developed a project with the community to use weather forecasts to improve dust management."

“The Greens have no interest in any of this, reverting to type at every turn as part of their efforts to end mining in NSW along with the 73,000 jobs it provides across the state,” Mr Galilee said.

Contact: Brad Emery bemery@nswmining.com.au or 0450 620 254

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